Rapper Phife Dawg Passes At Age 45, From Diabetes Complications

Phife Dawg
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A Tribe Called Quest Lyricist, Phife Dawg, dies at the age of 45.

Rapper Phife Dawg, one fourth of the pioneering Hip-Hop group, A Tribe Called Quest suddenly passed on March 22nd.  The news of the emcee’s passing has brought a sadness over the Hip-Hop community as we mourn one of the greats from the early 90s.  

Phife Dawg, born Malik I. Taylor, had been struggling with health issues and type 2 diabetes for several years, and he received a kidney transplant from his wife in 2008.  Still, just months after reuniting with Q-Tip and the other members of ATCQ for the first time on stage in years, no one saw this coming.  A Tribe Called Quest, re-released their People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm album with a 25th anniversary deluxe edition back in November and were reportedly planning more collaborations.

The family of Phife Dawg, has released a statement about the 45-year-old’s death.

“We regret to share the news that on Tuesday March 22nd, 2016, Malik has passed away due to complications resulting from diabetes.

“Malik was our loving husband, father, brother and friend. We love him dearly. How he impacted all our lives will never be forgotten. His love for music and sports was only surpassed by his love of God and family.”

The rapper’s manager, Dion Liverpool, also released a statement.

“While I mourn the loss of my best friend and brother, I also will celebrate his incredible life and contribution to many people’s ears across the world,” he says. “Even with all his success, I have never met a person as humble as he.  He taught me that maintaining a positive attitude and outlook can conquer anything. Now my brother is resting in greatness. I’m honored to have crossed paths with him. Riddim Kidz 4eva.”

Riddim Kidz is Phife Dawg’s production company.

The native New Yorker, Phife Dawg appeared on all five of A Tribe Called Quest’s albums, and always had an impact on the the crews biggest records like, “Can I Kick It,” “Check The Rhime,” “Bonita Applebum,” “Award Tour” and “Scenario.”

In 2000, Phife Dawg released a solo album, Ventilation: Da LP, which included production from Pete Rock and Hi-Tek among others.  The album spawned the hits, “Flawless” and “Bend Ova.”

Phife also appeared in the ATCQ Documentary, Beats, Rhymes& Life: The Travels of a Tribe, directed by Michael Rapaport, in 2011.
He nicknamed himself the Funky Diabetic, Phife Diggy and the Five Foot Assassin and he will always be remembered as one of the best to do it.