Co-founder for the legendary hip-hop group, A Tribe Called Quest, Phife Dawg, has died at 45 (March 23, 2016).
The M.C., born Malik Taylor November 20, in 1970, had been suffering from health issues for years, including Type 1 diabetes and received a kidney transplant in 2008. Although at this post, his exact cause of death was not confirmed.
In 2011 Michael Rapaport directed a documentary about the life, trials and tribulations of the members of “A Tribe Called Quest called “Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest.”
The documentary would detail the story of the unseen fourth member, Jarobi White while highlighting Phife Dawg‘s fight with diabetes and the tumultuous relationship between Phife and Tribe front-man, Q-Tip.
Phife Dawg hooked up with childhood friend Q-Tip and formed A Tribe Called Quest in 1985 alongside Jarobi and Ali Shaheed Muhammad. The group style was a mix of socially conscious lyrics and fun, while blending elements of jazz music and obscure samples.
Their sophomore album, “The Low End Theory” from 1991 and the follow-up, 1993’s “Midnight Marauders” are generally regarded as the best hip-hop releases of all-time.
Tribe broke up in 1998 but reunited eight (8) years later and continued to gigs throughout the world.
Last November, the group reissued “People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm“as the first of a massive reissue campaign. A Tribe Called Quest‘s Tonight Show performance of “Can I Kick It?” — their first televised performance in 15 years — would end up being the group’s last.
Here is A Tribe Called Quest first appearance on The David Letterman Show January 28, 1993.