This is absolutely heartbreaking! A Tribe Called Quest member Phife Dawg’s cause of death has finally been revealed — through a heart-wrenching statement released by his own family no less. It’s SO sad that the talented rapper left us at the too-young age of 45.
The world has been mourning the loss of a hip-hop great, Phife Dawg, real name Malik Taylor, from A Tribe Called Quest. Although his cause of death was a mystery immediately following his March 22 passing, Phife’s grief-stricken family has finally spoken out about what truly killed the rapper. They also shared their extremely fond memories of Phife, leaving us all in tears. Read their full statement here.
“We regret to share the news that on Tuesday, March 22, 2016, Malik has passed away due to complications resulting from diabetes,” Phife’s family said in their touching statement. “Malik was our loving husband, father, brother and friend. We love him dearly. How he impacted all our lives will never be forgotten. His love for music and sports was only surpassed by his love of God and family.” The family also, understandably, asked for privacy during this extremely difficult time.
Phife’s manager, Dion Liverpool, also expressed his grief, adding to the statement, “While I mourn the loss of my best friend and brother, I also will celebrate his incredible life and contribution to many people’s ears across the world.” Dion noted that despite Phife’s success, he had never met a person so humble. “He taught me that maintaining a positive attitude and outlook can conquer anything. Now my brother is resting in greatness. I’m honored to have crossed paths with him. Riddim Kidz 4eva,” he said. How devastating!
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) March 23, 2016
We can only imagine the immense amount of grief Phife’s friends and family are going through. After all, he was taken too soon. The rapper had been struggling with (an unknown type of) diabetes since he was first diagnosed in 1990. He even underwent a kidney transplant in 2008, and again in 2012. Clearly he fought hard, which makes this news all the more heartbreaking!
“It’s really a sickness,” Phife previously said of his diabetes. “Like straight-up drugs. I’m just addicted to sugar.” But although his disease was dangerous, the rapper seemed to be doing just fine as recently as November 2015, saying that he was “more or less in a good spot.” His sudden death truly was a shock!
Celebs such as Big Sean, Nick Cannon, and Solange Knowles have since responded to Phife’s passing via social media. “Phife was not only one of the most influential people in hip hop, but he was also one of the nicest & most kindest guys in hip hop. Man. RIP,” Solange tweeted on March 23. There’s no question, this legend will definitely be missed.
Our thoughts go out to Phife’s family, friends and fans in this tragic time.