After hearing reports yesterday (Feb. 2) that hip-hop artist Houston gouged his eye out in an apparent suicide attempt, rapper Bushwick Bill of the legendary Geto Boys has expressed his empathy and condolence.
Bill, too, was compelled to kill himself one night back in 1991,losing his eye in the process. "I want Houston to know that he is in
my prayers, and that I will ask God to give him peace of mind and peace of heart," says Bill in a statement, "and I hope his eye heals as well as his mind and his emotions."
According to reports, Houston tried to leap from a balcony at a London hotel while on tour, but was stopped by his security. The singer then reportedly locked himself in a bathroom, where he gouged out one of his eyes.
Bill attempted the deed with the aid of his girlfriend, who reportedly shot him in the eye. At the time, the rapper said the act was in order
to obtain insurance money for his mother. That graphic scene was later depicted on the cover of the Geto Boys album, We Can't Be Stopped. Members Scarface and Willie D are seen wheeling a bandaged Bill on a hospital gurney.
"I wouldn't wish that on anyone else to force the hand of death," says Bill. "Fame isn't for everybody. There are people who have a fear of fame, those who want fame, and those who don't understand fame. It drives them crazy, because it is a lot of responsibility to be all things to all people, and you can lose yourself in the shuffle, where there are no longer fifty-two cards in the deck."
Houston's hit song "I Like That," featuring rappers Nate Dogg and Chingy took off, landing the singer a gold album and a nomination for
"Best New R&B Artist" earlier this month by the 2004 T M H Honors. But Bill says success is not always pretty. "There is the added insanity
of having a big selling record and fame, yet somehow, you don't have any money to match what you have accomplished. You are going through
that misery with your label, and it makes utterly no sense," says Bill, who also lends advice to other artists who may be facing
dilemmas similar to Houston's.
"Since God wanted you to be an entertainer, you need to look to God more and less to yourself, because we as artists are confused as human
beings," says Bill. "You are put in the position where you have to smile when you are sad and be gracious when you are depressed, and not everybody knows how to play the roles that fame requires .When some people can't handle that, can't cope, they start to fall apart."
After realizing this himself, Bill rhymed on "Everclear" off his solo album Little Big Man, "I had to lose an eye to see clearly." MTV
reportedly banned the music video ending, which featured Bill removing his glass eye and dropping it into a glass of Everclear.
The Geto Boys reunited for their latest release, The Foundation, released last month. Bushwick has also signed a joint deal with Adex Records and will release his solo project, Gutta Mixx on March 29.