Phife Dawg of legendary hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest, has died at 45. Although no press release has been issued as of yet, several sources have taken to Twitter to express their respect for the fallen MC, including Questlove of the Roots and Chuck D of Public Enemy.
Phife, born Malik Taylor but known as “The Five Foot Assassin” (he stood at 5’3″) had battled health issues in recent years, including diabetes, and had a kidney transplant in 2008. He told his story of his health struggles in the 2012 Tribe documentary Beats, Rhymes and Life.
He kept a mostly low profile after A Tribe Called Quest broke up in the late ’90s, releasing just one solo album, 2000’s Ventilation: Da LP.
A Tribe Called Quest was formed in the late 1980s by Phife, Q-Tip (aka Jonathan Davis), DJ Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi White. Their debut album was 1990’s game changing People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm.
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Courtesy of V-103 CBSLocal