Oh no! Yet another celebrity has died in a grim 2016 with the news that A Tribe Called Quest rapper Phife Dawg has passed away at the way too young age of 45. Read on for more details about his sudden passing.
How tragic! Rapper Phife Dawg from the legendary rap outfit A Tribe Called Quest has died at the tender age of 45. Phife had been suffering from diabetes (the type disputed) since 1990, and sadly lost his battle on March 23.
DJ Chuck Chillout broke the news to fans overnight on March 23 that his pal — real name Malik Isaac Taylor — had died. Although his cause of death hasn’t been confirmed, he had been fighting (an unknown type of) diabetes since he was first diagnosed in 1990, and even underwent a kidney transplant in 2008, and again in 2012.
Chuck broke the news with a simple tweet with a photo of Phife with the caption “RIP to PhifeDog of Tribe Called Quest,” which immediately had the internet reeling over the news, causing the item to rocket to the top item on Twitter. The news of his death was also confirmed by Statik Selektah, and many veteran Hip Hop artists, including Aesop Rock, Chuck D and El-P, who took to Twitter to express their sadness over Phife’s loss.
“It’s really a sickness,” Phife has previously said of his diabetes. “Like straight-up drugs. I’m just addicted to sugar.” As recently as November, Phife said he was having good days and bad days, but was “more or less in a good spot.” Before his death, he was planning on releasing a new LP that basically told his “life story” later this year.
The New York born rapper formed A Tribe Called Quest in 1985 with MC/producer Q-Tip and DJ/producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad. The group has always been considered one of the pioneers of old-school hip-hop. After paving the way for tons of other rappers, the group split in 1998. However, they reunited several times since, including during concerts in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010. In 2015, the guys got together to perform on The Tonight Show, their last public appearance as a full group.
Our thoughts go out to Phife’s family, friends and fans in this tragic time.