Legendary rapper, and member of pioneering hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest, Phife Dawg died Tuesday (March 23rd) night. The news was confirmed by Rolling Stone.
While there is still no official word on the cause of his death, Malik Taylor had been a long time sufferer of Type 1 Diabetes. Often calling himself the Funky Diabetic on his tracks, Taylor required a kidney transplant in 2008 from complications due to the disease.
A Tribe Called Quest broke up in 1998 after massive mainstream success over five albums, originating from their breakthrough album People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm in 1990. The band recently regrouped on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon with their first live performance in 17 years, celebrating the 25th anniversary of their debut album.
Artists worldwide took time to post tributes to the monumental hip-hop artist since his passing. Take a look below:
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!
— DJ Friedz (@friedz38) March 23, 2016
— FLYLO (@flyinglotus) March 23, 2016
RIP PHIFE DAWG: https://t.co/F1i0hNIkK6
— Mac (@MacMiller) March 23, 2016
A pioneer of hip hop has left us. Rest in peace, Phife
— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) March 23, 2016
Phife Dawg made some of the most beloved hip hop ever. It's so sad that he's gone. I'd have gone to every reunion show till the end of time.
— Mark Ronson (@MarkRonson) March 23, 2016
REST IN PEACE PHIFE https://t.co/6Zf5TfyvXP
— el-p (@therealelp) March 23, 2016
more than just a fly mc who's 5 foot 3 and very brave, phife is a legend who helped father hip hop's golden era. RIP pic.twitter.com/4w6zhiRSqp
— kalkutta (@djkalkutta) March 23, 2016
Refuse to believe this.
— Just Blaze (@JustBlaze) March 23, 2016
Damn RIP 2 the legend Phife Dawg 😔. My prayers go out to ATCQ & family…
— BADMON (@joeyBADASS) March 23, 2016
Kendrick Lamar stopped his show in Australia last night to give tribute to Phife Dawg. Watch the below video.