Bushwick Bill will not be forgotten.
The conversation surrounding legends and their contributions to the culture at large has occasionally dulled, brushed aside in favor of antics and headlines. Yet the passing of Bushwick Bill has served as a wake-up call, a reminder of what the Geto Boys and their members have given to to the game throughout their tenure. Yesterday, Richard "Bushwick Bill" Shaw was confirmed to have lost the battle with stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer, a battle during which he fought valiantly. At the time, the rapper's publicist issued a statement to Rolling Stone, painting a picture of a tranquil final moment: "Bushwick Bill passed away peacefully this evening at 9:35 p.m. He was surrounded by his immediate family."
Every time hip-hop loses a soldier, the game mobilizes to stand in unity. Many prominent voices took to social media to issue condolences and retrospectives celebrating Bill's life and legacy. Moments of reflection ran high, including one from Snoop Dogg, who thanked Bill for acting as a mentor to himself and a young Warren G. "One of the most intelligent brothers I ever met in the world," writes Big Snoop. "Also was welcoming to me and warren g as young artist In the game before we had a deal what a treasure Big things come in small packages keep my dear brother bill.
The Doggfather was not alone in his assessment. The love for Bill and The Geto Boys remains strong, especially by those actively involved in the hip-hop community. Voices rang out in memorial for the iconic young rapper, who once bravely looked death in the face and emerged on the other side. His well-documented brush with the afterlife, which occurred during June of 1991, ultimately aided in bringing him peace during his final months.
"I’m not really afraid of dying because if anyone knows anything about me from ‘Ever So Clear,’ I died and came back already in June 1991, so I know what it’s like on the other side," said Bill, during a recent interview. Rest in peace to a hip-hop legend, and make sure to bump some Geto Boys in his honor.