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A Tribe Called Quest MC Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor Passes Away at 45

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Featured Image via Under the Gun Review

“When’s the last time you heard a funky diabetic?!”

Hip hop took a major loss this morning with a confirmed announcement from one of Hip hop’s favorites, Public Enemy’s Chuck D and others about the death of Phife Dawg. There’s no current statement from Phife Dawg’s family or the members of A Tribe Called Quest yet.

Also known as “Malik, the 5 foot freak” was born on November 20, 1970 in St. Albans, Queens, New York. He met members Q-Tip, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and Jarobi White all in high school.


“Drink a lot of soda so they call me Dr. Pepper.”

Phife was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in May 1990 and received a kidney transplant in 2008, from two years of being on the wait list.

“My man Al B. Sure, he’s in effect mode, used to have a crush on Dawn from En Vouge. It’s not like honey dip would wanna get with me, but in case I own more condoms than TLC.”

A fan favorite for his slick punch lines and clever lyrics, this MC was on all five albums.

“I like ’em brown, yellow, Puerto Rican or Haitian. Name is Phife Dawg from the Zulu Nation.”

The group broke up around 1998 but reunited in 2004 for the Rock the Bells concert than continued a tour around 2006. During the break up Phife released a solo album called “Ventilation: Da LP”. There was a sophomore album called “Songs in the Key of Phife Vol. 1 (Cheryl’s Big Son)”  in 2010 but there was never a public release.

He was also a well-beloved sports fan being featured on numerous ESPN programs. The group recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of their debut “People’s Instinctive Travels & the Paths of Rhythm” on November 13, 2015. The first performance in 15 years, they performed the classic, “Can I Kick It?”. Unfortunately this would be the last performance as a whole group.

There is not a released statement of the cause of death but Phife Dawg will rest in beats and has reunited with the legendary J. Dilla.

Today take a refresh of tribe’s music catalogue and 2011 documentary, “Beats, Rhymes & Life” to keep his spirit alive.

There has to be one hell of a cypher in Hip-Hop heaven right now.

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