Malik Isaac Taylor, better known as Phife Dawg, of the iconic hip hop act A Tribe Called Quest, has died Rolling Stone reports. A cause of death has not been announced, but the musician had been struggling with ill health brought on by diabetes, and having undergone a kidney transplant in 2008.
He reflected on the group’s success and their debut album People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm, on the occasion of its 25th anniversary.
We wanted the longevity of Earth, Wind & Fire and Prince and people of that nature. We didn’t want to be two-hit and three-hit wonders. We didn’t want the big, big singles that we were known for. We wanted to be known for full-length albums. When you say, “A Tribe Called Quest,” we wanted people to say, “That whole opus was crazy.” There were certain artists who just came and went because they were known for a particular song and nobody paid anything else any mind. We didn’t want to come into the game like that.
They did not.
He was 45.