*Fans have taken to social media to mourn the death of Malik Taylor, better known as Phife Dawg from the hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest. The rapper died Wednesday at the age of 45.
The cause of death has yet to be announced, but Taylor had suffered health issues for years, undergoing a kidney transplant in 2008 to deal with a longtime battle with diabetes.
Grammy winner Kendrick Lamar paid tribute to the rap legend from his concert in Australia. Watch below:
King Kendrick Lamar pays tribute to the late Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest
Posted by Matt and Alex on Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Below, are some of the tributes and memories pouring out for the Five Foot Assassin from across social media:
Phife forever 1970-2016. 1991 in Sept I went to visit Tariq at Millersville U in the middle of PA (Lancaster). Miles Davis had just passed & I went on a binge to study his post jazz works. Went to Sound Of Market to purchase Nefertiti, In A Silent Way & Live Evil—the only non jazz purchase I made that day ironically was the most jazziest album in that collection: #TheLowEndTheory by @ATCQ. —it was raining that day so somehow the 1…2 punch of “Nefertiti”/”Fall” just had me in a trance that train trip—even though I suspected there was a possibility that Tribe could possibly have made a better album then their debut (the perfect @@@@@ mic Source rating would be on stands in a week so I was right)—but I knew I wanted to save that listening for when I got up to the campus w Riq.—so some 90mins later when I get to his dorm–we ripped that bad boy open (I can’t describe the frustration that was CD packaging in 1991, just imagine the anger that environmentalists feel when all that paper packaging in Beats headphone gets wasted—it’s like that)—the sign of a true classic is when a life memory is burnt in your head because of the first time you hear a song. —Riq & I had this moment a few times, but the look on our faces when we 1st heard “Buggin Out” was prolly Me & Tariq’s greatest “rewind selector!” moment in our friendship. (Back then every MC’s goal was to have that “rewind!!!” moment. As in to say something so incredible. Or to catch you by surprise that it makes you go “DAAAAAYUM!!!”& you listen over & over—Malik “Phife” Taylor’s verse was such a gauntlet/flag planting moment in hip hop. Every hip hop head was just…stunned HE. CAME. FOR. BLOOD & was taking NO prisoners on this album (or ever again) we just kept looking at the speaker on some disbelief old timey radio Suspense episode. & also at each other “Phife is KILLIN!”–by the time we got to “Scenario” I swear to god THAT was the moment I knew I wanted to make THIS type of music when I grew up–(yeah yeah dad I know: “go to Juilliard or Curtis to make a nice living at “real music”) but he didn’t know that Phife & his crew already wrote my destiny. I ain’t look back since. THANK YOU PHIFE!
Today is a dark day in hiphop.
— Talib Kweli Greene (@TalibKweli) March 23, 2016
— BET Experience (@BETExperience) March 23, 2016
— Laz Alonso (@lazofficial) March 23, 2016
Styles upon Styles upon Styles is what I have…? #RIPPhifeDawg
— Joseph Sikora (@JosephSikora4) March 23, 2016
— The Kennedy Center (@kencen) March 23, 2016
— Debra Lee (@IamDebraLee) March 23, 2016
A-yo, Bo knows this and Bo knows that,
But Bo don’t know jack, cause Bo can’t rap. #ripphifedawg
— Touré (@Toure) March 23, 2016
Rest in Peace Phife Dawg — Big Sean (@BigSean) March 23, 2016