Bushwick Bill Reveals The Reason The Geto Boys Tour Was Canceled (Video)
UPDATE: Following last Friday’s (May 24) announcement that the Geto Boys’ recently announced reunion tour plans have canceled, longtime group member Bushwick Bill has clarified those initial reports.
“For all y’all out there that thought I was healthy enough to make a tour, I’ve been in the hospital since May 24,” Bill said in a video posted to his Instagram account Saturday, May 25. “Interestingly enough, [I have a] walking pneumonia and [there’s] an infection in my blood.”
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Bill refutes statements published at TMZ. “Now, the rumor is I pulled out on the tour. But if my health was a concern, then you would know about my health, not about me pulling out of the tour. This is a health issue. Pancreatic cancer. Chemo therapy gave me pneumonia.” At the top of this month, the Jamaican-born dancer-turned-MC revealed that his currently diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
ORIGINAL MAY 24 STORY: This evening in Pontiac, Michigan the reunited Geto Boys were scheduled to perform their first of four shows. Scarface and Willie D had announced a sudden reunion with Bushwick Bill, the most tenured Geto Boy of the three. At the top of this month, Bill (real name Richard Shaw) revealed that he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. In apparent response, four shows were put in place to raise money for Bill and cancer research for others. The reunion marked the first in several years for the group who took over as a revamped Geto Boys lineup in 1989 alongside the late DJ Ready Red. Just hours before the Pontiac show, Bushwick Bill has canceled the tour.
TMZ reports that Bill withdrew from the concerts, citing exploitation of his health issues. Specifically, the founding Geto Boys dancer-turned-MC was bothered with a publicized tour title, The Beginning Of A Long Goodbye: The Final Farewell. TMZ adds, “People connected to Willie and Scarface tell us they were blindsided by Bushwick, and claim he didn’t voice any complaints about the tour as recently as last weekend.” The report also alleges, “Bill believes tour organizers exploited his cancer news, jacked his tour idea and turned it into a full reunion for the Dirty South legends—and that’s why he decided to pull out.”
Notably, the 52-year-old Jamaican born MC still plans to reach his fans. The veteran solo artist outside of Geto Boys will reportedly begin his Ph*ck Cancer Tour on June 8 in Dallas, Texas.
Despite the gravity of Bill’s diagnosis, this latest development adds to a complicated history of the group, especially as it pertains to this famed trio lineup. Last year, Scarface denounced any possibilities of a Geto Boys reunion in the studio. In 2015, following De La Soul’s mid-six-figure raise for …And The Anonymous Nobody, the Geto Boys failed to meet a fundraising goal for what would have been their first group album since 2005. Equating it to a referendum on demand for more music, Scarface announced that he was no longer open to reunion projects. Perhaps most famously, Bill attempted suicide in 1991. Shooting himself, the rapper displayed his injuries on the cover of We Can’t Be Stopped.
Early last year on Questlove Supreme, Scarface opened up about the differences within the group. “Bro. I don’t never talk to Bill no more. We’re good…I’m fine. It’s good. We left [our relationship] at a great place.” He also admits to being angry at the 1991 suicide attempt.
A group assembled (and at times, revamped) by Rap-A-Lot Records founder J. Prince, Willie D, Bushwick Bill, and Scarface have long maintained that unlike most organic collectives, they never intended to work together. The group has toured in recent years, but has not released an album since 2005’s The Foundation.