Earlier Sunday, false reports of Bushwick Bill’s death spread after Geto Boys’ Scarface shared the news of his death on Instagram. Several major names from the world of hip-hop spread the word on social media with tributes to the icon. Bushwick Bill’s son released a statement refuting those reports: “He’s still alive and fighting for his life.”
Bushwick Bill was born Richard Stephen Shaw in Kingston, Jamaica. He was raised in Brooklyn where he was a b-boy and graffiti artist. He made his name in Houston, joining Geto Boys in the late 1980s as a dancer under the name “Little Billy”—a reference to his height (which is commonly listed as 3’9″). He was encouraged to start rapping when his peers heard him performing his favorite Public Enemy songs.