Today is a national day of mourning for Hip Hop. Phife Dawg, 1/4 of the legendary A Tribe Called Quest, has passed away at the age of 45. Details haven’t been released about the specifics of his death, but we do know he had been living with Type 1 Diabetes for some time and had had a kidney transplants years back. He had released a single a few years ago, #dearDilla, which was his ode to the Detroit legend and according to his Instagram, was planning on releasing new material also produced by Dilla.
Anyone who knows me knows how much this hurts. Not only as a fan of Hip Hop, but a fan of Tribe. While Dilla made me fall in love with Hip Hop, it was Tribe that made me take it seriously. With Hip Hop being such a young genre, loosing your legends at such an early age hurts like hell. However let’s not let Phife’s legacy fizzle out. He left a wealth on music, with and without Tribe. Let’s not wait until our greats leave us to show them how much we love them.
Also, let’s be more diligent with our health. While Phife was definitely the funkiest diabetic, even he admitted to not taking care of himself and how that affected his health. While his cause of death hasn’t been released, it’s still important to make sure we talk about these issues that plague our communities.
My thoughts and prayers are with Phife’s family, friends, ATCQ, and Hip Hop.
RIP Phife Dawg.