Phife Dawg in 2009
|Birth name||Malik Izaak Taylor|
|Also known as||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|
November 20, 1970|
St. Albans, Queens, New York, U.S.
March 22, 2016 (aged 45)|
Contra Costa County, California, U.S.
|Labels||Jive, Groove Attack Records|
|Associated acts||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 (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. 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.
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. 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.
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" 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. A single titled "Sole Men" was released one day after Phife's death (March 23, 2016) along with a posthumously released music video. Another single, "Nutshell", was released online in April 2016 along with a posthumously released music video.
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. The album is set to feature the previously released singles "Nutshell" and "Dear Dilla". It is unknown, however, if "Sole Men" will be included.
Personal life and death
Phife Dawg was born Malik Izaak Taylor to Cheryl Allison Boyce-Taylor and Walt Taylor on November 20, 1970. He was born premature and his twin Mikal died shortly after birth. His mother, who was born in Arima, Trinidad and Tobago, moved to St Albans in Queens, New York when she was 13 years old. Phife described himself as a "West Indian" and of "Trinidadian descent." He was a cousin of writer Zinzi Clemmons.
Phife was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus in May 1990. Conflicting reports indicate it as type 1, while other sources report it as type 2. He mentioned being a "funky diabetic" in the single "Oh My God" from the group's third album, Midnight Marauders. After being on a waiting list for two years, Phife received a kidney transplant from his wife in 2008. This was unsuccessful, however, and by 2012 he once again required a transplant.
Phife has been described as having had 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. Phife's work has been cited as an influence on Kanye West, Jill Scott, The Roots and Common, while the 1991 album The Low End Theory is considered one of the greatest hip-hop albums ever released.
|"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"|
|"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||Tomorrow 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||will.i.am||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!|
- 1993: Who's the Man? – Gerald
- 1998: The Rugrats Movie – Newborn Baby
- 2007: NBA 2K8 – Himself
- 2011: Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest – Himself
- 2017: NBA 2K18 - Himself
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- Chavez, Danette (March 23, 2016). "R.I.P. Malik "Phife Dawg" Taylor, co-founder of A Tribe Called Quest". The A.V. Club. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
- WENN (November 28, 2013). "A Tribe Called Quest | Phife Dawg Pens Song Tribute To J. Dilla". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved November 28, 2013.
- Steve Petersen (2016-03-23), "Sole Men" Music Video | Phife Dawg, retrieved 2018-02-11
- http://hiphopdx.com, HipHopDX -. "Phife Dawg's Posthumous Solo Album To Be Titled "Forever"".
- "Cheryl Boyce-Taylor". The Ubuntu Biography Project by Stephen A. Maglott. December 6, 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
- "Phife Dawg: His Name Is Mutty Ranks". HipHopDX. Retrieved November 24, 2010.
- Clemmons, Zinzi, "A Gritty Little Something on the New York Street", The Paris Review, March 25, 2016.
- "Phife Dawg, Rapper". Espn.go.com. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
- "Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest Has Passed Away, But His Legacy Lives On". VH1 News. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
- "Phife Dawg Dead: A Tribe Called Quest Rapper Honored on Social Media". PEOPLE.com. Time Inc. 23 March 2016. Retrieved November 28, 2016.
- Savage, Mark (March 23, 2016). "Tribe Called Quest star Phife Dawg dies aged 45". BBC News. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
- NME.COM (March 23, 2016). "Phife Dawg Of A Tribe Called Quest Reportedly Dead At 45". NME.COM. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
- Kamau High. "The Cool Kids To Headline 'NBA2K9' Tour". Billboard. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
- 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.
- WENN (October 27, 2008). "Phife Dawg Gets Kidney Transplant". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
- "A Tribe Called Quest Rapper, Phife Dawg Gets Kidney Transplant". Retrieved March 23, 2016.
- "Rapper PHIFE DAWG Receives Long Awaited Kidney Transplant". MAD NEWS. October 24, 2008. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
- "Phife Dawg, Founding Member of A Tribe Called Quest, Dead at 45". Billboard. March 23, 2016. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
- Meline, Gabe (March 23, 2016). "Why Phife Mattered: Remembering Hip-Hop's Relatable MC". KQED. Retrieved March 23, 2016.
- "Phife Dawg's Posthumous Solo Album To Be Titled "Forever"". HipHopDX. Retrieved 15 April 2017.
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