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Published on Jan 3, 2020
Too many musicians die young or in tragic circumstances, but fans can still find solace in the unforgettable legacies left behind by these rappers who passed away in 2019. We covered some high-profile losses in mid-2019; here are a few from the rest of the year that you may not have heard about.
Beloved rapper Bushwick Bill, a member of the legendary Houston group Geto Boys, passed away on June 9, 2019, after battling pancreatic cancer.
Bill, whose real name was Richard Shaw, told TMZ in May 2019 that he had been diagnosed with the disease three months prior, which came as a shock after doctors initially diagnosed a mass on his pancreas as benign.
Despite the grave diagnosis, Bill told the tabloid,
"It's not like I'm afraid of dying [...] I died and came back already in June 19, 1991, so I know what it's like on the other side."
That's a reference to a particularly dark time in Bill's life, when the rapper successfully coaxed a woman into shooting him in the face. He spoke about the near-death experience to radio station KUSF months after it happened.
Bill claimed he wasn't just hospitalized, but declared dead, being prepared for an autopsy when he awoke in the morgue. He ended up losing his right eye - a gruesome injury the Geto Boys capitalized on for the iconic cover of their 1991 album We Can't Be Stopped.
According to TMZ, Bill was set to perform in Texas just a day before his death, but he missed the show due to his hospitalization. A publicist for the rapper said that Bill died at the hospital, surrounded by his family. His son, Javon, told the outlet that Bill's last words were, "I will love you forever." He was 52.
Watch the video as we say goodbye to these Rappers Who Sadly Died In 2019.