Following the lead of the Jungle Brothers and De La Soul, their friends and comrades in the Native Tongues rap collective, A Tribe Called Quest blazed alternative rap trails with a laid-back, witty, progressive style as well as innovative beats and enlightened lyrics that paved the way for the jazz rap of Digable Planets, Us3, and other outside-the-box hip-hop artists.
The original members of Tribe are Jarobi, a prominent collaborative mind in the creativity of the groups song ideas, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, the genius DJ behind the combinations of slick samples and original sounds, and then the two MCs, Phife Dawg and Q-Tip, equipped with the kind of rhymes that put Subway to shame (fresh).
Phife Dawg died March 23, 2016 as a result of complications from diabetes. His memory will live on as long as his music still resonates with his audience, future and past. RIP.