Now Reading
Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest has passed away

Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest has passed away


2016 takes another one.  A Tribe Called Quest rapper Phife Dawg has passed away at the age of 45. Cause of death is unconfirmed but Malik Taylor aka Phife Dawg had Type 1 diabetes and ill health over the last number of years that included to a kidney transplant from his wife in 2008.

Malik Taylor was part of the seminal ’90s rap group A Tribe Called Quest along with Q-Tip, Jarobi White and Ali Shaheed Muhammad. The New York group  released five albums from 1990 to 1998, most notably the 1991’s Low End Theory and 1993’s Midnight Marauders.

Q-Tip and Phife Dawg’s relationship became turbulent and the group broke up and reunited a few times over the years. Much of that turbulence was documented in the 2011 film Beats, Rhymes & Life.

Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders remain two of my favourite rap albums.

Phife was one of my favourite rappers too. His hyperactive high-pitched flow was a perfect foil to Q-Tip’s smoother laidback delivery. Their juxtaposition made A Tribe Called Quest so important, so magnetic. I was introduced to Tribe through the Beastie Boys album Ill Communication, which Q-Tip featured on. The interplay between the two meant that they were/are my go-to pure rap group. Rest in peace Phife Dawg.

Phife Dawg Spotify playlist

A Tribe Called Quest - Electric Relaxation (Official Video)
Buggin' Out by A Tribe Called Quest
A Tribe Called Quest - Find A Way
A Tribe Called Quest - Scenario (Official HD Video)
A Tribe Called Quest - Jazz (We've Got) Buggin' Out (Official HD Video)
A Tribe Called Quest feat. Faith Evans - Stressed Out
A Tribe Called Quest - Award Tour (Official Video)
God Lives Through - A Tribe Called Quest

Hey, before you go...

Nialler9 has been covering new music, new artists and gigs for the last 18 years. If you like the article you just read, and want us to publish more just like it, please consider supporting us on Patreon.

What you get as thanks in return...

  • A weekly Spotify playlist only for patrons.
  • Access to our private Nialler9 Discord community
  • Ad-free and bonus podcast episodes.
  • Guestlist & discounts to Nialler9 & Lumo Club events.
  • Themed playlists only for subscribers.
  • Your support enables us to continue to publish articles like this one, make podcasts and provide recommendations and news to our readers.
Become a patron at Patreon!