R.I.P. Bushwick Bill

 

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Bushwick Bill of The Geto Boys died this evening at age 52 after being diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in February. Bill became a member of the pioneering Houston, Texas rap group The Geto Boys in 1986. He started out as a dancer but over time he became a rapper. He was an unlikely emcee because of his dwarfism and it added to the uniqueness of the group.The second incarnation of The Geto Boys included Scarface and Willie D and their breakthrough came on the third album, We Can’t Be Stopped. The song “Mind Playing Tricks On Me” was their most vivid song but the whole album was raw and helped pioneer the horrorcore sound and contributed to gangsta rap. The visual of Bill on the album cover with an injured eye in the hospital with Scarface and Willie D was unforgettable. The Geto Boys’ dark lyrics and unapologetic misogyny was controversial and caused Def American recordings to change their distributor from Geffen Records to Warner Brothers. J.Prince’s Rap-A-Lot label released We Can’t Be Stopped and he was also was responsible for changing group’s lineup to include Scarface and Wille D. They group released seven albums concluding with The Foundation in 2005. Bushwick Bill had six solo projects and still went on the road to tour. A reunion tour was announced earlier this year but was not able to happen.  The Geto Boys put Southern hip-hop on the map along with people like Luther Campbell decades before trap music went mainstream. Bushwick Bill’s family is planning a public memorial. 

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