Hip-Hop Remembers Phife Dawg on the One-Year Anniversary of His Death
It was exactly a year ago today (March 22) that Queens rapper Phife Dawg passed away unexpectedly. The hip-hop world is still feeling his absence after his untimely death.
Phife Dawg, born Malik Taylor, was a founding member of pioneering rap crew A Tribe Called Quest. Since their inception in 1985, Phife, Q-Tip, Jarobi White and Ali Shaheed Muhammad have been praised for their lasting influence on alternative and conscious rap. The Funky Diabetic himself was known for his bawdy and comedic lyrics and melodic rhyme scheme.
On March 22, 2016, Phife’s family revealed in a public statement that the rapper had passed away due to complications from diabetes. “We regret to share the news that on Tuesday March 22nd, 2016, Malik has passed away due to complications resulting from diabetes,” read the release.
Phife was 45 years old.
Even though he's been gone for a year now, Phife's name and legacy have remained on the minds of hip-hop fans. Back in November, Phife was honored with a ceremony that officially renamed Linden Blvd in Queens to Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor Way. ATCQ dropped their last album as a group, the platinum-selling We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service in November of 2016, featuring verses from Phife and just recently, comedian Dave Chappelle revealed Phife's death was a major factor in him hosting Saturday Night Live.
Busta Rhymes, 9th Wonder, Pete Rock and more have been vocal on social media today about this somber anniversary.
"It's probably sadder now than last year because I really wish he was here," Consequence said on Instagram. "A year is gone by since you left us. Me and you went back and forth about UNC/Duke all the time. Just this once, if UNC hangs a banner, I will clap it up for you. One love Phife Dawg," said 9th Wonder.
Check out who in hip-hop is remembering Phife Diggy today. R.I.P. Phife.
Hip-Hop Reacts to Phife Dawg's Death