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Rapper Bushwick Bill of the Geto Boys Dies at 52

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CREDIT Raymond Boyd  Getty Images

The rapper revealed in February that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

The initial headline, in bold, read, "BUSHWICK BILL GETO BOYS RAPPER DEAD AT 52".

The family were previously forced to deny the star had passed away after false reports about his passing began circulating while he was still alive. Bill's publicist, Dawn P., told The Associated Press that the rapper is on a ventilator at a Colorado hospital.

"His family appreciates all of the prayers and support and are asking for privacy at this time", the statement said.

Born Richard Shaw in Kingston, Jamaica, the artist moved to Bushwick, Brooklyn as a young child - hence his rap moniker - before relocating to Houston, where he first joined the Rap-A-Lot Records-assembled group in the early-to-mid-'80s as a breakdancer and hype man.

While the group's lyrics were too obscene to be played on the radio, their 1991 album "Can't Be Stopped" still went platinum. Bill's stark worldview and a fearless attitude toward death stemmed from a 1991 in which he shot himself in the eye during an argument with his girlfriend while high on PCP. Later that same month, Bill was hospitalized with pneumonia and was forced to cancel the remaining shows on the Geto Boys reunion tour.

In the span of a decade, from 1988 to 1998 - including a three-year hiatus, from '93 to '96 - Geto Boys released an impressive six albums.

Bushwick Bill posted to Instagram weeks ago, announcing his illness.

"I been keeping it to myself, but I'm getting ready to tell Scarface and Willie D", Bill explained to the outlet.

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