Legendary rapper Phife Dawg of pioneering Queens, New York hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest has died at the age of 45. He had been struggling with poor health and complications from diabetes since 1990. In 2008, he had a kidney transplant.
Born Malik Taylor in 1970, he was known for his unique lyrical flow and the seminal line he spit on “Electric Relaxation” where he famously mused, “I like ’em brown, yellow, Puerto Rican or Haitian / Name is Phife Dawg from the Zulu Nation.”
A Tribe Called Quest recently celebrated their 25th anniversary by re-releasing their classic album, 1990’s People’s Instinctive Travels. They also appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon which would be their last performance. The surviving members of ATCQ, Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad, have yet to issue a statement about Pfife Dawg’s passing.