The world of Hip Hop has lost a prince of the movement. The founding member of Tribe Called Quest, Phife Dawg passed away on Tuesday. According to various posts from colleagues in the music industry–the rap artist made his transition. Numerous posts with the hashtag #RIPPhife trended heavily on social media platforms.
One third of Tribe Called Quest, Phife whose real name is Malik Taylor went through a series of medical ups and downs over the years. In 2008, he underwent receiving a kidney transplant and suffered from diabetes.
Tribe Called Quest includes members, Phife Dawg, Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed entered the music game with thunder–creating a unique style of Jazz, Soulful and electric blends that influenced a movement of other rappers to follow. They released five albums over a period of eight years, including–Peoples Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm (1990), The Low End Theory (1991), Midnight Marauders (1993), Beats, Rhymes and Life (1996) and The Love Movement (1998). Over the years, the group would reunite for special performances including an appearance on the The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
There has been no official statement from the group. Our prayers goes out to the Taylor family, Tribe Called Quest, friends and fans who has been touched by his spirit.
Questlove Instagram Post
Phife forever 1970-2016. 1991 in Sept I went to visit Tariq at Millersville U in the middle of PA (Lancaster). Miles Davis had just passed & I went on a binge to study his post jazz works. Went to Sound Of Market to purchase Nefertiti, In A Silent Way & Live Evil—the only non jazz purchase I made that day ironically was the most jazziest album in that collection: #TheLowEndTheory by @ATCQ. —it was raining that day so somehow the 1…2 punch of “Nefertiti”/”Fall” just had me in a trance that train trip—even though I suspected there was a possibility that Tribe could possibly have made a better album then their debut (the perfect @@@@@ mic Source rating would be on stands in a week so I was right)—but I knew I wanted to save that listening for when I got up to the campus w Riq.—so some 90mins later when I get to his dorm–we ripped that bad boy open (I can’t describe the frustration that was CD packaging in 1991, just imagine the anger that environmentalists feel when all that paper packaging in Beats headphone gets wasted—it’s like that)—the sign of a true classic is when a life memory is burnt in your head because of the first time you hear a song. —Riq & I had this moment a few times, but the look on our faces when we 1st heard “Buggin Out” was prolly Me & Tariq’s greatest “rewind selector!” moment in our friendship. (Back then every MC’s goal was to have that “rewind!!!” moment. As in to say something so incredible. Or to catch you by surprise that it makes you go “DAAAAAYUM!!!”& you listen over & over—Malik “Phife” Taylor’s verse was such a gauntlet/flag planting moment in hip hop. Every hip hop head was just…stunned HE. CAME. FOR. BLOOD & was taking NO prisoners on this album (or ever again) we just kept looking at the speaker on some disbelief old timey radio Suspense episode. & also at each other “Phife is KILLIN!”–by the time we got to “Scenario” I swear to god THAT was the moment I knew I wanted to make THIS type of music when I grew up–(yeah yeah dad I know: “go to Juilliard or Curtis to make a nice living at “real music”) but he didn’t know that Phife & his crew already wrote my destiny. I ain’t look back since. THANK YOU PHIFE!