Hip Hop is mourning the death of Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest. The legendary rapper died on Wednesday morning. Since news of his untimely death spread, the rap community has been reacting including Kendrick Lamar and Questlove from the band tribute to the fallen hero.
K-Dot stopped his concert at the Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia on Tuesday night to remember Phife Dawg. He lead of chant of the late rapper’s name.
“We lost one of the pioneers in hip-hop today by the name of Phife Dawg, ya’ll,” Kendrick Lamar said. “We’re gonna give it up to him for allowing me to do what I’m doing on this stage right here, right now, today.”
Questlove took to Instagram to pen a lengthy tribute to his former band member.
This is what he wrote.
“Phife forever 1970-2016. 1991 in Sept I went to visit Tariq at Millersville U in the middle of PA (Lancaster). Miles Davis had just passed & I went on a binge to study his post jazz works. Went to Sound Of Market to purchase Nefertiti, In A Silent Way & Live Evil—the only non jazz purchase I made that day ironically was the most jazziest album in that collection: #TheLowEndTheory by @ATCQ. —it was raining that day so somehow the 1…2 punch of “Nefertiti”/”Fall” just had me in a trance that train trip—even though I suspected there was a possibility that Tribe could possibly have made a better album then their debut (the perfect @@@@@ mic Source rating would be on stands in a week so I was right)—but I knew I wanted to save that listening for when I got up to the campus w Riq.—so some 90mins later when I get to his dorm–we ripped that bad boy open (I can’t describe the frustration that was CD packaging in 1991, just imagine the anger that environmentalists feel when all that paper packaging in Beats headphone gets wasted—it’s like that)—the sign of a true classic is when a life memory is burnt in your head because of the first time you hear a song. —Riq & I had this moment a few times, but the look on our faces when we 1st heard “Buggin Out” was prolly Me & Tariq’s greatest “rewind selector!” moment in our friendship. (Back then every MC’s goal was to have that “rewind!!!” moment. As in to say something so incredible. Or to catch you by surprise that it makes you go “DAAAAAYUM!!!”& you listen over & over—Malik “Phife” Taylor’s verse was such a gauntlet/flag planting moment in hip hop. Every hip hop head was just…stunned HE. CAME. FOR. BLOOD & was taking NO prisoners on this album (or ever again) we just kept looking at the speaker on some disbelief old timey radio Suspense episode. & also at each other “Phife is KILLIN!”–by the time we got to “Scenario” I swear to god THAT was the moment I knew I wanted to make THIS type of music when I grew up–(yeah yeah dad I know: “go to Juilliard or Curtis to make a nice living at “real music”) but he didn’t know that Phife & his crew already wrote my destiny. I ain’t look back since. THANK YOU PHIFE!”
Other rap stars such as Yalib Kweli, T.I., Mac Miller, Pusha T, Big Sean and other all paid tribute to Phife Dawg on social media.
— Janelle Monáe, Cindi (@JanelleMonae) March 23, 2016
Today is a dark day in hiphop.
— Talib Kweli Greene (@TalibKweli) March 23, 2016
— New York Mets (@Mets) March 23, 2016
Straight out Jamaica seen, Jamaica Queens. But you can find me out in Georgia, or anywhere in between. Now if my partners don't look good, Malik won't look good, if Malik don't look good, then Quest won't look good, if the Quest don't look good, then Queens won't look good, but since the sounds are universal, New York won't look good. Picture Phife losing a battle, cmon get off it. Put down your microphone son, surrender forfeit. Did I hear something about a crew? What they wanna do? You better call Mr. Babyface so he can bring out the cool in you. Or it'll be a sad love song being sung by Toni Braxton. And I'll dissect you like a fraction. Oh you wanna be top cat MC? I'll pop you like a zit. You wanna be the champ? You more like Chief Some-shit. Big up myself every time when it comes to this. MCs be running scared as if they watching the Exorcist. I got more game than a crackhead from Hempstead, my styles are milk, man you'd think that I was breastfed. You know the steelo when the Diggy Dawg is on the scene. I dedicate this to all the MCs outta Queens. That goes for Onyx, LL, Run-DMC. Akinyele, Nasty Nas and the Extra P. You need a chart, straight up and down man, there ain't no other. Nuff respect to all my peeps that made the album cover. Yo Tip don't worry none you know I get the party jumping. Get on the mic and break em off a lil lil something. We love you Malik. #RIPPHIFE