The hip hip hop world is mourning the loss of rapper Phife Dawg, a founding member of the legendary 90's rap group A Tribe Called Quest. He passed away on Tuesday, March 22, at 45-years old.
The cause of his death is not known at this time.
Phife, real name Malik Isaac Taylor, released 5 albums with fellow group members, Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad. In 2000 the rapper dropped his only solo disc titled "Ventilation: Da LP."
Fellow artists paid tribute to him via social media.
RIP to phife dog of tribe called quest pic.twitter.com/f4t5fvg4WD— DJ Chuck Chillout (@djchuckchillout) March 23, 2016
Confirmed. rest in peace Phife. Man. I'm out.— Statik Selektah (@StatikSelekt) March 23, 2016
Rest in peace Phife.
The family of Phife Dawg have released a statement confirming that he passed away from diabetes. In 2008, he had a kidney transplant after renal failure due to diabetes complications.
Five years later, Phife, was back on dialysis, according to Diabetes Forecast.
“I haven’t really spoken about being on dialysis again and needing another kidney,” he said during a 2013 interview with Diabetes Forecast. “It’s a strain on me as far as going where I want to go, doing what I want to do. When I was on dialysis the first time, my stepson was playing basketball… . I couldn’t practice with him. I wanted to go out and run with him and things of that nature, but I didn’t feel good.”
His family issued the following statement on his passing.
“We regret to share the news that on Tuesday March 22nd, 2016, Malik has passed away due to complications resulting from diabetes.
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.”
Dion Liverpool, his manager, adds, “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. Even with all his success, I have never met a person as humble as he. 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.”
The family asks that their privacy be respected at this difficult time.