Artist News

A Tribe Called Quest issue statement following Phife Dawg’s death

By | Published on Thursday 24 March 2016

Phife Dawg

A Tribe Called Quest’s Phife Dawg, real name Malik Taylor, has died aged 45, it was confirmed yesterday.

The cause of death was not immediately announced, but it is thought to be related to diabetes, complications from which led him to undergo a kidney transplant in 2008. That procedure was unsuccessful, and saw him on the waiting list for surgery again in 2012.

The rapper appeared on all five of A Tribe Called Quest’s albums, contributing to four tracks on their debut ‘People’s Instinctive Travels And The Paths Of Rhythm’ and becoming a full time member on second album ‘The Low End Theory’.

In a statement last night, the surviving members of the group said: “Our hearts are heavy. We are devastated. This is something we weren’t prepared for although we all know that life is fleeting. It was no secret about his health and his fight. But the fight for his joy and happiness gave him everything he needed. The fight to keep his family happy, his soul happy and those around him happy, gave him complete and unadulterated joy… until he heeded his father’s call”.

“His family is overwhelmed by the support, well wishes and are thankful”, they continued. “His music and what he’s contributed is seismic and hard to measure. He’s affected us as much as he’s affected all of you. We’re inspired by his daily joy and courage. He wasn’t in pain. He was happy. We take comfort in knowing he will be beside his grandmother”.