Bushwick Bill's Legacy Is More Than Just Hip-Hop

Bushwick Bill passed away Sunday surrounded by loved ones after battling Stave IV pancreatic cancer.

Bushwick Bill passed away Sunday surrounded by loved ones after battling Stave IV pancreatic cancer.

Hip-hop lost a legend this week. Bushwick Bill, one-third of the iconic rap group Geto Boys, passed away Sunday evening at 52 after battling pancreatic cancer. TMZ reported that just last month Bill said he was “undergoing intensive chemotherapy and had hoped to get back on the road.” Bill’s son said that his final words were, “I will love you forever.” He was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer in February of this year.

There’s been a massive outpouring of love for the hip hop pioneer on social media, and my heart goes out to his loved ones and all who knew him and have been impacted by his life.

Bill’s passing is an unfortunate reminder that no one is exempt from pancreatic cancer. Not you. Not me. Nor actors. Nor athletes. Nor the cofounder of Apple. Nor the patriarch of an iconic music group. Nor an iconic fashion designer. Nor the Queen of Soul. Nor a hip hop legend.

“Phuck Cancer”

That’s the name of the 20-city solo tour that Bill wanted do and he planned to donate a portion of the proceeds to pancreatic cancer patients in each city. When I read this I thought of how incredible that could’ve been, and my hope is that something like this could still happen to honor Bill’s legacy. I do think, though, that he’d be proud to see the amount of people talking about this awful disease, especially in the African-American community, as this demographic is at an increased risk of pancreatic cancer.

It’s important to keep the conversation going. The more we talk about pancreatic cancer, the more other can learn, the better the chances are of early detection. It’s how we can change the course of pancreatic cancer, and it’s a small way we can honor the legacy of Bushwick Bill.

Jacie Scott