*Last week, Phife Dawg, one of the co-founders of A Tribe Called Quest, died from complications resulting from diabetes. On Tuesday, the group streamed his memorial service through Periscope. Now comes news that the late MC is thisclose to getting a permanent tribute in his hometown – the street he rapped about will be renamed to A Tribe Called Quest Boulevard.
Following his sudden death, a petition was started to encourage city council members to co-name Linden Blvd in Queens. According to TMZ, sources involved in the campaign confirm that Phife’s family have given their blessing to the plan. NYC requires such approval before putting a celeb name on a street sign. Also, Councilman Daneek Miller says he supports the plan because “A Tribe Called Quest is fundamentally important to the history of Queens.”
His death has received an outpouring of remembrances from the industry, with the likes of Chris Rock, Marlon Wayans, Kendrick Lamar, Questlove, Chuck D, Chance the Rapper, Seth Rogen, Dave Chapelle and Cedric the Entertainer all weighing in, with Cedric offering the following endearing statement:
Phife’s voice was the knife in A Tribe Called Quest, while Q-Tip’s lyrics were often that food of substance. Phife Dawg’s words cut through the bullshit and gave you something you could easily digest. ‘Microphone check, one two what is this? / The five-foot assassin with the roughneck business.’ Rest in peace, my brother.
Actor/director Michael Rapaport, who helmed the 2011 documentary “Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest,” said the following about Phife:
‘The Funky Diabetic’ says it all. He was very honest, also. When he said, ‘My aura’s positive, I don’t promote no junk,’ on ‘Check the Rhime,’ that was real. He was a positive person and a sweet person and very nice guy from a nice family, and you could tell that right away. There was no false advertising with him or anything regarding A Tribe Called Quest — not the norm in hip-hop. ‘Believe that if you wanna but I tell you this much/ Riding on the train with no dough, sucks.’ That was a big line. That’s honest sh*t.
Meanwhile, there are also proposals to co-name NYC streets in honor of The Notorious B.I.G., Big Pun and Wu-Tang Clan.