“Now here’s a funky introduction of how nice I am. Tell your mother, tell your father, send a telegram.” – Phife Dawg, “Check The Rhime”
Member and cofounder of the legendary group A Tribe Called Quest, Phife has died at age 45. DJ Chuck Chillout sent one of the first tweets about the passing of the rapper and it was later confirmed by Statik Selektah.
“Confirmed. rest in peace Phife. Man. I’m out,” Statik Selektah wrote on Twitter.
No cause of death has been revealed at time of print, but Phife suffered from Type-1 diabetes and had a kidney removed in 2008. In the 2011 documentary “Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest,” Phife’s medical issues and personal issues with Q-Tip were highlighted, and eventually lead to the end of the group. They reunited last year to perform on a few late night talk shows after they rereleased their debut album People’s Instinctive Travels And The Paths of Rhythm.
The “funky diabetic” Phife Dawg had legendary bars on the hit single “Can I Kick It?,” “Check The Rhime,” “Jazz (We’ve Got)” and “Scenario.”
ATCQ released its fifth and final album, The Love Movement, in 1998. In 2000, Phife released his solo debut, Ventilation:Da LP.
Peep the reactions to Phife’s passing below:
RIP to phife dog of tribe called quest pic.twitter.com/f4t5fvg4WD
— DJ Chuck Chillout (@djchuckchillout) March 23, 2016
Confirmed. rest in peace Phife. Man. I'm out.
— Statik Selektah (@StatikSelekt) 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
RIP PHIFE. DRINKING A DR PEPPER FOR U RIGHT NOW. pic.twitter.com/ClSNcuLR9P
— Mac (@MacMiller) March 23, 2016
Just woke up to the news that my childhood hero and friend Phife from Tribe aka Malik Taylor is gone…I have no idea what to say .. Floored
— Hot 97 & ESPN's Own (@Rosenbergradio) March 23, 2016