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Phife Dawg
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/fuseboxradioDC Loves Dilla - 9th Annual Tribute and Fundraiser (2014) Phife Dawg

A Tribe Called Quest rapper Phife Dawg has died at 45

Written by
Andrew Frisicano

Sad news today for hip-hop fan: Phife Dawg, the nimble wordsmith of A Tribe Called Quest, has died at the age of 45. A Queens native, Phife—real name Malik Taylor—was one-third of the pioneering NYC rap trio responsible for classic records such as The Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders. (He also memorably guested on Shaquille O'Neal's 1993 Shaq Diesel cut "Where Ya At?"). His family released the below statement about his passing.

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.

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