R.I.P. Phife Dawg

Today, the global music scene mourns the death of Phife Dawg - a hip-hop great known for his often understated, yet strong role in A Tribe Called Quest. He was 45.

The news was released last night on Twitter from DJ Chuck Chillout, later confirmed by Statik Selektah.

Although the cause of death has not yet been confirmed, Phife Dawg struggled with diabetes for years, which often left him too weak or unable to perform on stage. Diagnosed in 1990, he received a kidney transplant in 2008 as an attempt to treat his illness. 


Born Malik Taylor in Queens, New York, to a Trinidadian-American family, he became friends with Kamaal Ibn John Fareed, or Q-Tip. They formed A Tribe Called Quest with Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi White, releasing their debut People’s Instinctive Paths and the Paths of Rhythm in April 1990, which would become a hip-hop classic, and defining their sound. Their legacy was

Although they disbanded, their legacy was documented in the film, Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest, which depicted both the group's power struggles and genuine bond.

here's a few of our favourite verses by phife:


Ola's Pick:
"Oh My God" from Midnight Marauders(1993)

Gotta love that New Jersey Devils jersey in the video - Phife still reppin' the T&T flag. Diaspora preaching...

Trini gladiator, anti-hesitater
Shaheed push the fader from here to Grenada
Mr Energetic, who me sound pathetic?
When's the last time you heard a funky diabetic?
(I don't know man, I don't know man, I don't know man)
(I don't know, I don't know)
Lyrics via Genius