RIP Phife Dawg

Legendary MC and A Tribe Called Quest co-founder Phife Dawg has passed away at the age of 45. The cause of his death is currently unknown. He suffered from a number of health issues, including type 1 diabetes, and in 2008 underwent a kidney transplant due to diabetes complications. The news first broke on Twitter when DJ and producer by Chuck Chillout tweeted it late last night, and Rolling Stone later confirmed his passing.

Phife and Tribe grew popular in the 1990s as part of the Native Tongue’s collective. They released five albums and were critically acclaimed for expanding rap’s sound as the still young genre began to blossom. The group cemented their legacy very early with their first three albums – People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of RhythmThe Low End Theory, and Midnight Marauders – with Phife playing the sports-loving, jovial lyricist able to pack a punch his words. After the group split, the “Five Foot Assassin” released one solo project of his own, Ventilation: Da LP, in 2000.

Vibe out to his verse on Scenario below. #RIPPhifeDawg