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A Tribe Called Quest's Phife Dawg Has Died at Age 45

News of Malik Taylor's death broke early Wednesday morning. RIP Five Foot Assassin.

UPDATE: Phife Dawg's family has released a statement on the rapper's death:

The family of A Tribe Called Quest member, Phife, also known as Malik I. Taylor, has released a statement announcing that he has died, aged 45. "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.


Read the original story below:

Malik Taylor, the rapper best known as Phife Dawg and a core member of hip-hop pioneers A Tribe Called Quest, has died at the age of 45.

While no official statement had been released at press-time, multiple reports the news broke in the early hours of Wednesday morning, with producer Statikk Selektah confirming the news amidst an outpouring of tributes from within the hip-hop community.

Confirmed. rest in peace Phife. Man. I'm out.

— Statik Selektah (@StatikSelekt) March 23, 2016

No cause of death has been revealed, though Taylor had been struggling with health issues for number of years after being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 1990. The rap legend received a kidney transplant from his wife in 2008 following renal failure, and documented his struggle with the disease and his work as an advocate in the 2012 documentary Beats, Rhymes, and Life.

DJ Chuck Chillout broke the news on Twitter in the early hours of Wednesday morning, and was joined by Chuck D, Flying Lotus, El-P, and many others in paying tribute to the Five Foot Assassin on social media.

RIP to phife dog of tribe called quest

— DJ Chuck Chillout (@djchuckchillout) March 23, 2016

Phife-HipHop & Rap word Warrior, simple as that.Breathed it & lined rhyme into Sport.A true fire Social Narrator my bro #RIBeats ATCQforever

— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) March 23, 2016


— el-p (@therealelp) March 23, 2016



— FLYLO (@flyinglotus) March 23, 2016

His daughter, Jessica Marcia, wrote a note on Facebook paying tribute to her father, suggesting that the cause of his death was diabetes.

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I watched my father's health slowly decline over the years from being a diabetic. However, he never stopped drinking…

Posted by

Jessica Marcia


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Last night in Australia, Kendrick Lamar paid tribute to Phife Dawg on stage.

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King Kendrick Lamar pays tribute to the late Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest

Posted by

Matt and Alex

on Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Mac Miller has shared a tribute track to Phife Dawg called "5 Foot Assassin: Larry Fisherman Tribute."

This is a developing story. Check back for updates, and read our full interview with Phife Dawg on ATCQ's 25th annivesary here.

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