Gossip website TMZ prematurely reported that Bushwick Bill of the Geto Boys died earlier in the day, and then retracted their post. Since then, he actually did pass away.
Bushwick Bill was 52. The rapper, born Richard Shaw, recently revealed that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Rolling Stone reported on the news last night, sharing a press statement from the rapper’s publicist Dawn P. “Bushwick Bill passed away peacefully this evening at 9:35 p.m. He was surrounded by his immediate family. There were incorrect previous reports that he had passed away this morning. We are looking into doing a public memorial at a later date. His family appreciates all of the prayers and support and are asking for privacy at this time.”
Thanks to TMZ‘s misreporting, tributes started coming in while the rapper was still alive, many of which link to a now-deleted post. Talib Kweli pointed out that the race to write about the man’s death had gotten a bit out of hand. “This morning, many well known, reputable news outlets reported that hip-hop legend Bushwick Bill, who is fighting cancer, had passed away. Then Bushwick Bill himself said ‘nah’ online. What does that say about the way we consume news in 2019?”
Here are some of the tributes that didn’t include the TMZ post, including Cypress Hill’s — the group noted that they waited for the family to confirm his death before saying anything.