Geto Boys co-founder Bushwick Bill has been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer and has undergone intensive chemotherapy but says it’s too early to tell how his body is responding. Bill says the diagnosis came as a surprise because doctors had told him the mass on his pancreas was benign.
Pancreatic cancer begins in the tissues of your pancreas, an organ in your abdomen that lies horizontally behind the lower part of your stomach. Your pancreas releases enzymes that aid digestion and hormones that help manage your blood sugar. The cancer typically spreads rapidly to nearby organs and seldom detected in its early stages.
The artist is a fan of Kendrick Lamar, Talib Kweli, Lupe Fiasco and Mos Def. He likes common Sense—people who say things that are relevant to everyday life. Shaw states, “I don’t pay attention to artists that talk about throwing money away and the car that they drive.”
The group, Geto Boys are from Houston and Bushwick Bill (Richard Shaw) tragically lost an eye after being shot by a girlfriend and woke up in the morgue after being declared dead. In a Pitchfork article, Shaw is asked what life is like with one eye, “I was born with 20/20 vision. The only thing that changes is like a person who loses a limb has that phantom limb movement… they feel they’re doing things with two members of their body. If I’ve been in a room before when I had two eyes, my mind actually sees the whole room from memory. I might turn into the wall and bump into something because my mind is seeing it wrong—I’m not. That’s the part that gets me sometimes. I walk in somewhere and end up turning into a wall and getting knots on my head.”
Filmmaker Greg Roman has spent three years with Shaw, capturing his life and times. “There’s an open mic and Bill goes up and talks to the guitar player and got him to play a beat, then performed ‘Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta’ in front of him, half the cast of TV show “Silicon Valley”, some tourists, and me.” When asked what it’s been like having cameras follow him for a few years, Shaw responded, “It’s pretty interesting. It’s just supposed to show my everyday life. Some things are happy, some are not.”