The hip-hop community is mourning the loss of Geto Boys rapper Richard "Bushwick Bill" Shaw, who passed away from stage 4 pancreatic cancer on Sunday at the age of 52.

"Bushwick Bill passed away peacefully this evening at 9:35 p.m. He was surrounded by his immediate family," his publicist Dawn P. said in a statement to The Rolling Stone. "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."

News of his death was reported earlier on Sunday by his bandmates, but was immediately refuted by Bushwick Bill's son via Instagram.

"Contrary to what has been prematurely, insensitively, and inaccurately posted/reported – My dad IS NOT dead, he's still alive and fighting for his life. He needs your continued prayers and support," a portion of his caption read. 

The Jamaican-born artist got his start with the group in 1986 as a dancer, going by name Little Billy, in reference to his dwarfism. Two years later, he would venture into rapping, appearing on Geto Boys' debut album Making Trouble. The Houston-bred group released several iconic singles, including  the 199 hit "Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta," made popular by the 1999 film Office Space.

CBS News reports Bill was diagnosed with cancer in February and was planning a tour around the same time he learned of his ailment. The father of four had cheated death once before, surviving an incident in 1991 where he shot himself in the head and consequently lost an eye while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Speaking with TMZ, he expressed that he didn't fear death, having already avoided it once before.

"I died and came back already on June 19, 1991 so I know what it's like on the other side," he told the entertainment news site.