Word to Phife, Q-Tip, Ali and Jarobi. Hours ago, we found out that one of the greatest to ever do it passed away at the age of 45. Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor was a Trinidadian MC and one of the most influential rappers in the 90’s. His effortless swag and clever word play landed him a major rapport in the rap game and a deal with the prestigious record label, Jive.
Best known as one of the members of A Tribe Called Quest, Phife was always on the mic, hitting Tribe’s vibey tunes with hard-hitting lyrics and poise. HE was comfortable in his own skin and changed the rhyme game completely.
Confidently, Phife would always perform to his fullest potential, making him one of ATCQ’s favorites among the fans. To this day, nobody can forget his most famous rhymes from songs like “Electric Relaxation,” “Award Tour,” “Buggin’ Out,” “Can I Kick It,” and so many more countless hits that are still block party worthy.
The cause of dealth has yet to be announced, but there is speculation that Phife had health issues for a while and was undergoing a kidney transplant from 2008 to manage his struggle with type 1 diabetes.
Regardless of this unbelievable circumstance, Phife was never known to be ill or out of the loop. Whenever there was a chance for them all to do a reunion performance, Phife was at the front of the stage being the five foot assassin with roughneck business. As a dynamic talent who appears on The Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders―two albums that are arguably the greatest of all time―Phife always remained a humble dude. Returning to his hometown in Queens and always encouraging the local youth, Phife was an esteemed advocate for his community and many other inner-city communities in NYC.
Phife will definitely be missed by his ATCQ brothers, Q-Tip, Ali Muhammad and Jarobi White as well as his long-time industry friends, Raphael Saadiq, D’Angelo, Busta Rhymes and many others who were influenced by his words. Phife, your legacy will continue to be a significant part of hip-hop culture even after your brief, yet everlasting stint.