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7 Years Ago Today, Hip-Hop Music Pioneer Phife Dawg of ‘A Tribe Called Quest’ Passed Away

New York’s legendary emcee and former member of the historic Queens-based Hip-Hop collective A Tribe Called Quest Phife Dawg passed away 7 years ago today. Born Malik Izaak Taylor, Phife Dawg was one of the greatest Hip-Hop emcees to ever live.

Recognised for his unprecedented lyrical prowess and affecting vocal delivery, Dawg formed a crucial bridge between ‘A Tribe Called Quest’ alongside Q-Tip and De La Soul, Queen Latifah and Jungle Brothers. Collectively, the association was popularly referred to as the Native Tongues.

As part of the influential Hip-Hop act, Phife Dawg debuted with People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm LP. Released on April 10th 1990, the LP gained prominence for its funk and jazz-influenced sounds amidst the provocative rise of gangsta rap at the time. Besides their riveting debut LP, Phife Dawg released five more rap LPs across his career – The Low End Theory, Midnight Marauders, Beats Rhymes and Life, The Love Movement and We Got It From Here… Thank You For Your Service.

Phife Dawg’s influential work inspired a generation of legendary Hip-Hop, R&B and Soul artists including Erykah Badu, Pharrell Williams, Kanye West, Andr√© 3000, Scarface and more.

Rest in Peace, Malik Izaak Taylor.

Listen to A Tribe Called Quest’s debut LP People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm here.