Ex-Geto Boys Rapper Sues Record Labels Over Alleged Beating
Former Geto Boys rapper Bushwick Bill has filed a $20 million lawsuit against
Virgin Records, Noo Trybe Records, Rap-A-Lot Records, a comedy club and
five individuals who he said attacked and pulled a gun on him at a comedy
club last month.
Filed on Sept. 9 in Houston's Harris County District Court, the suit
claims that the diminutive 31-year-old rapper (born Richard Shaw) was
employees of Virgin/ Noo Trybe/ Rap-A-Lot Records -- men nearly twice his
size -- during an Aug. 28 event at the Jus Joking Comedy Cafe in Houston.
Bushwick Bill is suing for physical assault, emotional distress and loss of
earnings due to the injuries that he alleges.
The incident was allegedly triggered by a previous suit filed against the
rapper over his efforts to get out of his contract with Rap-A-Lot Records.
Bushwick Bill's suit alleges that he was assaulted by employees of
the label as he tried to leave the club and that the club's security team
did nothing to stop the incident. Among those named in the suit are Steven
McCarter, Kobrey Laqua Ferguson, Derrick Washington and two sheriff
Representatives for Virgin Records, Noo Trybe Records and Rap-A-Lot Records
had no comment on the suit. Representatives for the Jus Joking Comedy Cafe
could not be reached for comment.
In a statement released Monday, Lickle Geto Boys Dollars N Cents
Entertainment -- Bushwick Bill's production company -- said the rapper
Bushwick, who is a 145-pound, nearly 4-foot dwarf, was punched, hit and
kicked in the "head, chest, stomach, arms, legs and genitals" by men who
towered over him and were nearly twice his body weight, including one who
was a golden-glove boxer.
One of those mentioned in the suit also is alleged to have pulled a gun on
the rapper. "Bill tried to defend himself as best he could," the statement
said, "and was finally saved by his brother Chris."
The suit further claims that Bushwick Bill suffered injuries that had to be
treated at an emergency room as well as by his personal physician. The suit
asks for $15 million in exemplary damages and $5 million in punitive
damages related to the alleged attack.
Bushwick Bill first made his mark in the national hip-hop scene in 1988 as
a member of gangsta-rappers the Geto Boys, an ensemble that also included
Scarface (born Brad Jordan) and Willie D (born Willie Dennis). The Geto
Boys' raw, violent lyrics pushed the envelope of gangsta rap and earned the
group notoriety when Geffen Records
refused to distribute the group's self-titled 1990 release.
In 1991, Bushwick Bill lost an eye after he convinced his girlfriend to
shoot him while he was threatening to harm the couple's child.
Later that year, the Geto Boys hit #24 on the Billboard 200 albums
with We Can't Be Stopped. The album featured a graphic cover photo
of Bushwick Bill's injuries and spawned the hit single "My Mind's Playing
Tricks On Me."
In 1992, Bushwick Bill released his first solo album, Little Big Man,
followed in 1995 by Phantom of the Rapra. In February of this year,
he was arrested in Alabama for marijuana possession.
The Geto Boys are currently working without Bushwick Bill, who has since left
the crew. Their next release, Da Good, Da Bad and Da Ugly, has no
scheduled release date. Bushwick Bill's next release, No Surrender ... No
Retreat, is due to be released Oct. 27 by Wrap/Lickle Geto Boys
Dollars N Cents Entertainment.
No court date has yet been set to resolve either the suit against Bushwick
Bill or his suit against the labels. Bushwick Bill's next public appearance
is scheduled for radio's "Howard Stern Show" on Wednesday (Sept. 16).