RIP: Celebrate Phife Dawg’s Life With These Classic Verses

By Sameer Rao Mar 23, 2016

Few MCs leave the outsized footprint that Malik "Phife Dawg" Taylor made on hip-hop history. The Queens native and "A Tribe Called Quest" founding member made art out of his braggadocio, turning his height and issues with type 1 diabetes into some of the genre’s most memorable rhymes. Today (March 23), hip-hop nation mourns Phife Dawg’s death at the age of 45. 

Though there has been no confirmation of the cause of Phife Dawg’s death, a number of publications suspect it is related to his long-term health struggles. He was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1990 and had a kidney transplant in 2008. "Like straight-up drugs. I’m just addicted to sugar," Phife said about his health issues in the 2011 documentary "Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest."

A number of peers and devotees paid their respects to Phife on social media, leading to hashtags like "#RIPPhifeDawg" and topics like "Tribe" and "Low End Theory" trending on Twitter:


To pay our respects, we offer a couple of Phife’s best verses. It’s a "funky introduction" for those unfamiliar, and like water for those of us with the Tribe forever burned in our memories:

Share your favorite Phife Dawg memories and verses in the comments. 

(H/t The SourceRolling Stone, Mic