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Phife Dawg

AKA: Phife

About Phife Dawg

Phife Dawg (born Malik Isaac Taylor) was an American rapper who is most notably know for his involvement in the classic hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest. Phife was born on November 20, 1970 and lived to age 45 before passing away on March 23, 2016.

Phife Dawg initially created the group A Tribe Called Quest back in 1985 with fellow rapper and highschool classmate Q-Tip, with Jarobi White and Ali Shaheed Muhammad joining the group later on.

Though it did appear as if Phife was overshadowed by the success of Q-Tip, Phife was still considered to be an essential part of the group. He was not able to break into the scene as a solo act as well as Q-Tip was, releasing his first and only studio album Ventilation: Da LP back in 2000. Phife Dawg had some notable guest appearances as well; “La Schmoove” by Fu-Schnickens and Diamond D’s “Painz & Strife” being a few examples.

In May of 1990, Phife Dwag was diagnosed with type one diabetes, which eventually resulted in him needing a kidney transplant in 2008. He was very open about his battle with diabetes, even going to the length of calling himself a “funky diabetic” on the hit Tribe Called Quest song “Oh My God”. He proved to be very influential in the diabetic community, promoting his message that “when you learn you have diabetes, the first word you have to learn is acceptance.”

Unfortunately, Phife succumbed to his long battle with diabetes, passing away on March 23rd 2016. Fans and hip hop artists alike were devastated by the news. Many hip hop artists, including Common, Jay Electronica, and Ghostface Killah have credited Phife for being an honorable and influential force in the hip hop genre.

R.I.P Phife Dawg