2016: Today, marks the one-year anniversary of the death of A Tribe Called Quest member Phife Dawg.
As a pioneering member of Queens New York rap crew, Phife Dawg (born Malik Taylor) was instrumental in crafting Tribe’s pioneering hip-hop sound. The Five Foot Assassin was known for delivering raunchy, self-deprecating bars with just the right amount of candor.
Last year when Phife’s family shared the news of the passing of Phife in a public statement. “We regret to share the news that on Tuesday March 22nd, 2016, Malik has passed away due to complications resulting from diabetes.” When news of Phife’s untimely death broke, it sent ripples through hip-hop.
Rappers from all across the industry show loved on social media and in memorial songs for Phife. Q-Tip in particular delivered a touching message online to his best friend, writing, “I miss my lil brotha so much right now…He is my hero. I’ve never seen such a fighter. I’m sure u have been through this as well but know that in death there is signs and gifts abound. He left me with the gift of unconditional love and brotherhood. That will NEVER be lost with me…Ever. I take comfort in knowing that divine order is certain…I take pride in having the blessing knowing and having Malik in my life.”
In August of 2016, ATCQ announced that they would be dropping their last album as a group which would include all new material from Phife Dawg. With anticipation at an all time high, Tribe dropped their LP We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service in November. The project automatically shot to No. 1 on the Billboard 200, marking Tribe’s first appearance on the charts in 20 years, and was hailed as one of the best rap albums of 2016.
For fans who still want to check his rhimes, Phife’s widow, Desha Taylor, announced last month that the rapper’s posthumous album is scheduled to drop in 2017.
R.I.P. Phife Dawg.