When Bushwick Bill came back to life
(Credit: Album cover)

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When Bushwick Bill came back to life

Bushwick Bill was a member of the formidable Texas trio, the Geto Boys. Alongside Willie D and Scarface, the collective pioneered Southern rap in the US, especially in Houston. Led by their frontman, Scarface, the Geto Boys’ origins are rooted firmly in the late-1980s and are known, to this day, as one of the first mainstream hip-hop groups from the South.

With the trio’s emergence, hip-hop finally gained a new respect for the South after its long struggle. Although Scarface was undoubtedly the frontman and face of the Geto Boys, Bushwick Bill played an important part in the group’s formation.

The emcee (real name Richard Shaw) was born with dwarfism and, as part of the Geto Boys, was first a mere dancer known as Little Billy. However, he later began rapping and was soon brought into the musical fold with several appearances on the group’s 1988 debut project, Making Trouble. 

Shaw formally became a part of the group for their 1989 sophomore project, Grip It! On That Other Level. Since 1989, Bushwick Bill has been an essential part of the Houston collective and even released several solo albums himself, including Little Big Man, Phantom Of The Rapra and many more.

However, one of the most exciting yet strange tales about Bushwick Bill was when he died and came back to life. In 1991, while intoxicated and under the influence of PCP (Angel Dust), Shaw got into a heated argument with his girlfriend. He had been suicidal for months and asked her to kill him.

After his girlfriend refused to kill him, they began tussling, and he accidentally shot himself in the face, with the bullet entering his eye socket. Unsurprisingly, following this, he was hospitalised.

However, while in hospital, his heart stopped beating, and he was pronounced dead, yet strangely, he woke up while he was about to be put into the hospital’s morgue. He detailed this during a 2014 conversation with K-Rino for the Murder Master Music Show, explaining, “I died June 19th 1991. Legal death is [defined as] 45 minutes. I was in the morgue for two hours and 45 minutes before I came to it was going on three hours. My toe was tagged, and they were pushing me in the drawer! I saw frozen people to the left and frozen people to the right, and I’m like, ‘I must be dreaming!'”

He continued, “Then I looked in front of me, and I saw a door about to close, and the people are still pushing me, and I was like, ‘Yo! Stop I have to pee. Then they pulled the draw out. I sat up, pulled the catheter out, jumped down, and the security for the morgue, the actual mortician, ran out…like ‘He’s alive. Somebody help!'”

You can hear the phone conversation between K-Rino and Bushwick bill in the video below.