By: Bryant “B-Boy” Worthing @bboyworthing
A very sad day for the hip hop community as one of the realest emcees to ever do it died at the young age of 45 on March 22, 2016. Fife Dawg, real name Malik Taylor, was a huge part of brining the group A Tribe Called Quest legitimacy as one of the true pioneers of hip hop groups. In the early 90s they traveled the world with both critical and commercial success. Phife had been battling diabetes for years and it finally took ahold of him to the point of no return and the entire hip hop world is paying respects to a true originator of solid bars and style.
Tribe is a group that broke up numerous times, but Phife was key in every one of the group’s five albums, the biggest being the 1991 record The Low End Theory and the 1993 release Midnight Mauraders. He did put out one solo album in 2000 titled Ventilation: Da LP but health issues kept him out of the game for the last decade and change. Along with his counterpart Q Tip they both gave the group one of the most respected rap acts of all time doing so with contrasting styles and voice tones.
Born in 1970 Phife grew up in Jamaica Queens, NY the same neighborhood as Q Tip, the two were friends since diapers and even played baseball together as kids. Phife also spent time in Atlanta in between the controversial spats between Tip when they broke up here and there.