Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest has died, aged 45. In the early hours of this morning, it was announced that Phife Dawg, born Malik Isaac Taylor, passed away. The devastating news was first released to the world by pioneering DJ Chuck Chillout, on his Twitter account, and was then be confirmed by Statik Selektah.
Born in 1970, Phife grew up in Queens, New York, where he co-founded the well-known hip-hop trio A Tribe Called Quest in 1985 with his classmates Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad. Phife was undoubtedly a lyrical genius with his energetic flow complementing Q-tip’s mellow, laid-back demeanour very well.
ATCQ just a while ago experienced a regroup in 2015, as they celebrated the 25th anniversary of their debut People’s Instinctive Travels And The Paths Of Rhythm whilst also performing “Can I Kick It?” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon – their first television appearance together in over 15 years.
Although the cause of death has not been released, messages have been flooding in on social media from artists who respect and have been influenced by Phife Dawg.
RIP PHIFE. DRINKING A DR PEPPER FOR U RIGHT NOW. pic.twitter.com/ClSNcuLR9P
— Mac (@MacMiller) March 23, 2016
Damn RIP 2 the legend Phife Dawg ?. My prayers go out to ATCQ & family…
— BADMON (@joeyBADASS) March 23, 2016
— Mobb Deep (@MobbDeep) March 23, 2016
Rest in Peace Phife Dawg
— Big Sean (@BigSean) March 23, 2016