A Tribe Called Quest’s Phife Dawg Dies at only 45
The world of Hip-Hop is in a state of mourning as we have lost another one of our giants. Iconic member of A Tribe Called Quest, Malik Taylor (Phife Dawg), passed away on Tuesday due to complications of diabetes. He was 45. The news comes to the hip-hop community as a tragedy and it’s unfortunate Phife had to struggle for so long in his battle with diabetes – in 2008 he had to have a kidney transplant. In his music video tribute to J-Dilla (Dear Dilla), he portrayed many of his daily struggles in stoic form. Phife Dawg lived his art, and his message will be felt for generations to come.
As a founding member of A Tribe Called Quest, he left us with a long list of classic hits. Tracks such as Electric Relaxation, Can I Kick It, and Scenario have stuck with us through house parties and block parties, cookouts, and chill nights; this is music meant to dance to. The amazing album The Low End Theory set the stage for a new style in hip-hop which would take some sound from funk, life from soul, and rhythm from blues, mixing it all in with an afrocentric flow. Phife Dawg was well known for his grounded rhymes and rugged voice delivering concise, heady lines. The 1991 LP The Low End Theory would go down in history as one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time and made #153 on Rolling Stones’ 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.
Although he’s gone, the legend lives on; take some time out and jam to your favorite A Tribe Called Quest track this week and recognize a great man’s memory.