Phife Dawg, of the legendary A Tribe Called Quest, passed away on Tuesday (March 22) from complications resulting from diabetes, his family has confirmed. He was just 45 years old.
“Malik (Malik Taylor) was our loving husband, father, brother and friend,” his family said in a statement. “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.”
The 5’3″ rapper has experienced health issues for years, and underwent a kidney transplant in 2008 to deal with a longtime battle with diabetes, according to Rolling Stone.
Phife Dawg shot to fame in the 1990s, as one third of A Tribte Called Quest. While the group hasn’t released an album together since 1998’s The Love Moment, their impact on the culture remains… and has influenced a number of the superstars of today, including Kanye West.
He went on to record one solo project, 2000’s Ventilation: Da LP, though it failed to impact culture the same as Tribe’s group efforts.