Following reports that rapper Bushwick Bill — one of the members of the Houston rap group Geto Boys — died at the age of 52, his publicist said he is not dead but “alive and fighting cancer,” according to TMZ.
The publicist added that she spoke to the hospital and confirmed Bill was alive and his family members were still at his bedside.
The news comes after several of Bill’s friends, including former Geto Boys colleague, Scarface, took to social media earlier today to announce the rapper died.
It is believed the rumors were sparked after Bill failed to show up at an event in Dallas on Saturday night where he was expected to make an appearance.
Bushwick Bill received a Stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis in February and has undergone chemotherapy.
Bill, whose real name is Richard Shaw, joined Geto Boys in the late ’80s. The other members of the rap group from Fifth Ward in Houston, Texas, are Scarface and Willie D.
Bushwick Bill was known as “Little Billy” when he first joined Geto Boys as a dancer.
Geto Boys gained notoriety in the early ’90s for their graphic rap lyrics which were criticized as misogynistic and focused on murder, sex, violence, and other controversial topics, including psychosis and necrophilia.
The cover of the group’s 1991 album We Can’t be Stopped featured Bill in hospital after he lost an eye in a shooting incident. The shooting incident helped to boost the sales of the album.
The album also featured one of Geto Boys’ best-known singles My Mind Playing Tricks on Me, which reached No. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Geto Boys continued with the addition of Big Mike in 1993 after Willie D left. The group released their album Till Death Do Us Part in 1993, which produced the top 40 hit, Six Feet Deep.
After Willie D returned to the group in 1996, they released The Resurrection.
Bushwick released six solo albums, including his 1992 debut Little Big Man, while Geto Boys went on to release Da Good Da Bad & Da Ugly in 1998 without Bushwick.
After Bushwick Bill was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, the Geto Boys began planning a farewell tour The Beginning of a Long Goodbye: The Final Farewell.
They planned to donate part of the proceeds to the pancreatic cancer awareness campaign, but it was reported Bill was upset about the name of the tour because it seemed to suggest he was on his deathbed.