Phife Dawg
Shop for Phife Dawg mp3s. Get Phife Dawg essential facts below. View Videos or join the Phife Dawg discussion. Add Phife Dawg to your topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Phife Dawg
Phife Dawg
Phife Dawg-mika.jpg
Phife Dawg in 1999
Background information
Malik Izaak Taylor
Phife, Phife Dawg, The Phifer, Phife Diggy, The Five-Foot Assassin, The Five-Footer, Malik The Five-Foot Freak, The Funky Diabetic, Dynomutt, Mutty Ranks, The Trini-Gladiator, Don Juice, Dr Pepper
Born (1970-11-20)November 20, 1970
St. Albans, Queens, New York, U.S.
Died March 22, 2016(2016-03-22) (aged 45)
Contra Costa County, California, U.S.
Genres Hip hop
Instruments Vocals
Labels Jive, Groove Attack Records
A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Jungle Brothers, J Dilla, Hi-Tek, Pete Rock, Busta Rhymes, Queen Latifah, Monie Love, Supa Dave West, TLC

Malik Izaak Taylor[1] (November 20, 1970 - March 22, 2016), known professionally as Phife Dawg (or simply Phife), was an American rapper and a member of the group A Tribe Called Quest with Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad (and for a short time Jarobi White). He was also known as the "Five Foot Assassin" and "The Five Footer", because he stood at 5 feet 3 inches (1.60 m).


Phife Dawg initially formed A Tribe Called Quest, then simply named Quest, with his childhood friend Q-Tip in 1985; the group was later expanded with the addition of Jarobi White and Ali Shaheed Muhammad. A Tribe Called Quest were closely associated with fellow hip-hop acts De La Soul and Jungle Brothers, with the groups being collectively known as the Native Tongues.[2] A Tribe Called Quest were initially offered a demo deal by Geffen Records in 1989, but signed to Jive Records to release their 1990 début People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm.[2]

Phife Dawg's contributions to the group increased on their second album, 1991's The Low End Theory, which saw Phife--often referring to himself as "the Five Foot Assassin"--rapping about social and political issues; the record has since been acclaimed by critics and fellow musicians.[2] The group released three further albums throughout the decade--Midnight Marauders in 1993, Beats, Rhymes and Life in 1996, and The Love Movement in 1998--before disbanding as a result of conflict both with their record label and between members. The band's troubles, especially the tense relationship between Phife and Q-Tip, was featured in the 2011 documentary Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest, directed by Michael Rapaport.[2]

In addition to being a member of pioneering hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest, Phife performed on songs with other artists. He was featured on the Fu-Schnickens song "La Schmoove", Diamond D's "Painz & Strife" along with Pete Rock and Chi-Ali's "Let the Horns Blow" with Dres, Al' Tariq and Trugoy. In 2000, he released his debut solo album, Ventilation: Da LP. In 2013, it was reported that Phife was working on a solo album titled MUTTYmorPHosis.[3] A single titled "Nutshell" was released online in April 2016 along with a posthumously released music video.[2]

It was announced in February 2017 that Phife's second studio album, posthumously titled Forever, will be released later in the year. The single "Wanna Dance" was released that month and features Dwele and Mike City.[4] The album is set to feature the previously released singles "Nutshell" and "Dear Dilla".

Personal life and death

Phife Dawg was of Trinidadian descent.[5] He was an avid sports fan and was featured on various radio shows and sports programming on ESPN.[6] He was also a playable character in the video games NBA 2K7 and NBA 2K9.

Phife was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus in May 1990. Conflicting reports indicate it as type 1,[7][8] while other sources report it as type 2.[9][10] He mentioned being a "funky diabetic" in the single "Oh My God" from the group's third album, Midnight Marauders.[11] After being on a waiting list for two years,[12][13][14][15] Phife received a kidney transplant from his wife in 2008. This was unsuccessful, however, and by 2012 he once again required a transplant.[9]

Phife died in his home in Contra Costa County, California on March 22, 2016 due to complications relating to diabetes at the age of 45.[9][16][17]


Phife has been described as having a "self-deprecating swagger", and his work with A Tribe Called Quest helped to challenge the "macho posturing" of rap and hip-hop music during the late 1980s and early 1990s.[9] Phife's work has been cited as an influence on Kanye West, Jill Scott, The Roots and Common,[2] while the 1991 album The Low End Theory is considered one of the greatest hip-hop albums ever released.[9]


Studio albums

Guest appearances

List of guest appearances
Title Year Other performer(s) Album
"Buddy (Native Tongue Decision)" 1989 De La Soul, Q-Tip, Jungle Brothers, Queen Latifah, Monie Love Buddy (VLS)
"Let the Horns Blow" 1992 Chi-Ali, Dres, Fashion, Trugoy the Dove The Fabulous Chi-Ali
"La Schmoove" Fu-Schnickens F.U. Don't Take It Personal
"Where Ya At?" 1993 Shaquille O'Neal Shaq Diesel
"Giggin' on 'Em"
"Intro-lude" 1994 TLC CrazySexyCool
"Who Got the Funk" 1995 Science of Sound Kaleidoscope Phonetics
"Artical" Whitey Don, Chip Fu Artical (VLS)
"Game Day" 1996 Rodney Hampton NFL Jams
"Painz & Strife" 1997 Diamond D, Pete Rock Hatred, Passions and Infidelity
"Let Me Be the One (Ummah Remix Featuring Phife)" Mint Condition Let Me Be the One (VLS)
"All I Do (Jay Dee's Shit Mix)" Somethin' for the People All I Do (CDS)
"Never Say Goodbye" 1998 Adriana Evans Ride soundtrack
"Phife's Speech" 2000 Ambivalence Electric Treatment
"What's da Deal"
"Hold Ya Karna" Mastermind, Nefarius Mastermind Presents Volume 50: Street Legal
"In My Mind (Dodge's Main Mix)" 2001 Al Jarreau Tommorrow Today (Reissue)
"In My Mind (Dodge's Melodic Mix)"
"Next Movement" K-Mel Reflexions Vol. 1
"Take You There" 2002 AK1200 Shoot to Kill
"Nah Mean" 2003 Must B 21
"How It's Gonna Be" 2004 Truth Enola 6 O'Clock Straight
"How It's Gonna Be (Remix)" Ten Past 6
"Scheming" 2010 Slum Village, Posdnous Villa Manifesto
"Tell the Whole City" 2011 Consequence Movies on Demand 2
"They Say (Legendary Remix)" T3, Rapper Big Pooh 3illa Madness
"Dues n Donts" 2012 Oh No, José James Ohnomite
"Seek Well" 2013 CJ Fly, A La Sole Thee Way Eye See It
"Push It Along" 2015 Slum Village Yes!



  1. ^ "Ghostface Killah, Jay Electronica and Others Honor 'Phife Dawg'". Hip-Hop Wired. January 20, 2010. Retrieved 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Chavez, Danette (March 23, 2016). "R.I.P. Malik "Phife Dawg" Taylor, co-founder of A Tribe Called Quest". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2016. 
  3. ^ WENN (November 28, 2013). "A Tribe Called Quest | Phife Dawg Pens Song Tribute To J. Dilla". Retrieved 2013. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Phife Dawg: His Name Is Mutty Ranks". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2010. 
  6. ^ "Phife Dawg, Rapper". Retrieved 2016. 
  7. ^ "Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest Has Passed Away, But His Legacy Lives On". VH1 News. Retrieved 2016. 
  8. ^ "Phife Dawg Dead: A Tribe Called Quest Rapper Honored on Social Media". Time Inc. 23 March 2016. Retrieved 2016. 
  9. ^ a b c d e Savage, Mark (March 23, 2016). "Tribe Called Quest star Phife Dawg dies aged 45". BBC News. Retrieved 2016. 
  10. ^ NME.COM (March 23, 2016). "Phife Dawg Of A Tribe Called Quest Reportedly Dead At 45". NME.COM. Retrieved 2016. 
  11. ^ Kamau High. "The Cool Kids To Headline 'NBA2K9' Tour". Billboard. Retrieved 2016. 
  12. ^ Allhiphop (October 24, 2008). "Hip-Hop News, Rumors, Rap Music & Videos -AllHipHop» EXCLUSIVE: Rapper Phife Receives Kidney Transplant". Hip-Hop News, Rumors, Rap Music & Videos -AllHipHop. 
  13. ^ WENN (October 27, 2008). "Phife Dawg Gets Kidney Transplant". Retrieved 2016. 
  14. ^ "A Tribe Called Quest Rapper, Phife Dawg Gets Kidney Transplant". Retrieved 2016. 
  15. ^ "Rapper PHIFE DAWG Receives Long Awaited Kidney Transplant". MAD NEWS. October 24, 2008. Retrieved 2016. 
  16. ^ "Phife Dawg, Founding Member of A Tribe Called Quest, Dead at 45". Billboard. March 23, 2016. Retrieved 2016. 
  17. ^ Meline, Gabe (March 23, 2016). "Why Phife Mattered: Remembering Hip-Hop's Relatable MC". KQED. Retrieved 2016. 
  18. ^ "Phife Dawg's Posthumous Solo Album To Be Titled "Forever"". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2017. 

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes