The Geto Boys’ Bushwick Bill Has Been Diagnosed With Stage 4 Cancer (Video)

On June 19, 1991, the Geto Boys’ Bushwick Bill was shot in the head, in the midst of an argument with his girlfriend. Miraculously, Bill survived the incident but it left him with only one functioning eye, an injury which was graphically depicted on the cover of the Geto Boys’ We Can’t Be Stopped album.

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Bill attributed the nearly lethal incident to a toxic concoction of alcohol, PCP and a volatile relationship, all depicted on his tell-all song, “Ever So Clear.” The fact that Bill survived the incident, and went on to make his most acclaimed and commercially successful music, gave him an air of near invincibility. However, yesterday (April 30), the Geto Boy revealed to the world that he is once again staring death in the face.

In a video released to TMZ, Bill states matter-of-factly that he has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. After a battery of tests on a mass that had been discovered and initially said to be benign, Bill says “Finally, by February 8, they said it was stage four pancreatitis cancer.” Bill goes on to say “Pancreatic cancer is undetected until it’s in the fourth or fifth stage.”

Bill discloses that he had not told his fellow Geto Boys, Scarface and Willie D, about the cancer, choosing only to share his news with close family members. Now, he has decided to go public, in order to encourage people to live their lives to the fullest, while they are still able. “I figure keeping it to myself is not really helping nobody. And, it’s not like I’m afraid of dying, because if anybody knows anything about me from ‘Ever So Clear,’ you know I died and came back already on June 19, 1991, so I know what it’s like on the other side, so that’s not what it’s about. It’s about life and loving life, and being there for family, and not just starting a dream or getting married or getting your first house and then finding out you’ve got pancreatic cancer, so you can’t even live out the rest of your dream. I just want people to be aware, so when they set dreams and goals, they’re healthy enough to fulfill and live.”

From there, Bill turns his attention to his family. He is mindful of the financial difficulties that often ensue for families of artists when they die, and is taking steps to avoid that. “The reason why I’m doing three albums right now is because I notice when most celebrities pass, they really don’t have nothing set up for their children, and everything’s in disarray. So, I figure old music will sell. Yes. But, if I have new music for them, and I have a book, and I have a documentary, and I have any other endeavors that I get into now, at least they’ll have residual income from those things.” The peace and practicality with which he is approaching the matter is sobering and humbling.

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Last year, former Geto Boys member DJ Ready Red suffered a fatal heart attack. In 2015, the Geto Boys sought to fund their eighth studio album, Habeas Corpus, through Kickstarter, but the campaign was unsuccessful. Scarface has since said he is done recording with the group for good. Perhaps the gravity of Bills news will unite the group once again.