Any hip-hop head knows the importance A Tribe Called Quest holds in the hallowed halls of rap, and today we lost a very important member, Phife Dawg. While not all the details have been released, the how isn’t as important as the impact Phife left, leaving the hip-hop community dazed and heavy hearted.
Formed in 1985, A Tribe Called Quest burst onto the scene with their funky fresh rhymes, free spirits, and a fusion of jazz and hip-hop that was entirely original and a precursor for what you hear today. Phife embodied what the tribe was all about, and the five footer could never go unnoticed. His verses were nothing short of masterpieces, and Phife had a witty delivery that may never be matched again. He was a character who became an expert at his craft, with obvious highlights such as “Scenario,” “Check the Rhime,” “Butter,” “Electric Relaxation,” and so many more. Rap owes Phife many thanks and the impact of his loss will not be hastily forgotten. Artists immediately began to send out their condolences this morning:
— Freddie Gibbs (@FreddieGibbs) March 23, 2016
Rest in peace phife. You are an inspiration to us all and your voice and music will live forever #Tribe
— nico (@DonnieTrumpet) March 23, 2016
One of the most influential rappers on me and hip hop period! Rest In Peace Phife Dawg and thank you for the legacy you leave behind.
— ℒσgic♫ アキラ (@Logic301) March 23, 2016
When Phife was on the mic you knew something special was about to happen. He made you really listen to the rhymes, never creating a dull moment. It’s rare to find such a positive human being, one who’s love for music helped spread his joy to millions of others. Phife’s imprint is undeniable, and unavoidable. Phife Dawg lives on forever in the music and will never be forgotten as a true pioneer and legend of rap.
Rest in peace Malik Isaac Taylor, aka Phife Dawg, aka The Five Footer.
He was all that and then some, short, dark and handsome.