I am sure you must have heard the news by now? However I still can’t believe it. Phife Dawg is dead…………. The legendary rapper and wordsmith from the alternative/jazz hip group called - A Tribe Called Quest is no longer with us.
The 1st article that I ever wrote for the website was this – ELECTRIC SOUL SHOW - A TRIBE CALLED QUEST - ARTICLE 1 – featured A Tribe Called Quest. Such was their influence of their music over me.
As many people know that I love all forms of black music – from Soul music to House music; and from Hip Hop to Gospel and more in between.However, this group were well ahead of their times (A Tribe called Quest).
The furore of the film that was made about the HipHop group that is NWA, which was released in August 2015 showed a different side to Hip Hop music. There version of HipHop music was brash, it was honest and lastly showed you or tried to show life for many living in the ghetto areas of South Central Los Angles and other areas.
Musically, A Tribe called Quest made better music then NWA who and together with the huge resurgence in West Coast HipHop - were ruling the roast. However, in regards to A Tribe called Quest, they tackled and talked about HipHop Music and social issues differently then with NWA in regards to their lives and what was happening around them.
There was no better sight in HipHop then seeing QTip and Phife Dawg seemingly trying upstage each other either on stage or within recording a studio – but at the same time complimenting each other via the song that they were doing at the time for A Tribe Called Quest.
In my opinion and its only my opinion – A Tribe Called Quest and Gang Starr are the two greatest HipHop Bands to come out of the gender of Hip Hop Music. I KNOW THAT I AM GOING TO FLAMED FOR MENTIONING THAT, BUT BOTH OF THEM MADE GREAT ALBUM AFTER ALBUM THAT CAN BE STILL DROPPED AT ANY HIP HOP EVENT OR GIG TODAY.
Everything about these two bands were majestic and leaves you wanting them to be around right now. In my opinion they are still the Yard Stick that today’s Hip Hop artists and bands still need to aspire to. Please click on the Rolling stones magazine which gives you the full story.
However, the rapper that is Phife Dawg (his real name being – Malik Taylor – died on the 23rd March, 2016) – We have been told that he died of complications in regards to his long held illness he had with Type 2 Diabetes. He died at the age of 45 years old.
Born Malik Taylor in New York, USA in 1970, he co-foundered the alternative/jazz/hip hop group with his classmates that were Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammed.
Phife, appeared on all 5 albums that were released by A Tribe Called Quest. Sharing the mic with Q-TIP he was the perfect foil to the child like and yet sweetly soothing voice of Q TIP’s lyrical approach to the game.
Phife nicknamed himself apparently as the “Five Foot assassin”; as reference to his small statue but beefy boasts that he portrayed in his raps within the group that is A Tribe Called Quest.
With Hip Hop acts and Dj’s such as Dj Red Alert, Da la Soul, Jungle Brothers; A Tribe Called Quest were part of a movement that is known as the The Native Tongues. Who were a collection of 1980’s and early 1990’s HipHop groups known for their positive-minded, good-natured Afro centric lyrics, and for pioneering the use of eclectic sampling and later jazz-influenced beats.
A Tribe Called Quest surprised a lot of people within the Hip Hop community in regards to tackling issues such as like “DATE RAPE” and the use of the N-word in the tracks called “Sucker Niga”. They also moved away from the then hip hop clichés of gun play and swearing within Hip Hop tracks.
A Tribe Called Quest approached how they make Hip Hop music via using elements of jazz fused with Hip Hop Boom bap beats and a sturdy bass line. Their 2nd album called “The Low End Theory” has often been called the best Hip Hop album of all time.
The track called “Can you kick it” has to be the group’s most recognizable track that they ever did. Recognized all over the world. With its catchy chorus and neat hook it always brings out a smile to who he or she hears it.
Despite the tracks world wide appeal - Phife Dawg wasn’t that keen on it."It's hard for me to get into Can I Kick It? for the simple fact that I hated my voice back then," he told Rolling Stone. "It was high-pitched.... and I couldn't stand it."
Disagreements between Phife Dawg and Q-Tip led to eventually the band disbanding. And in 1998 they released there last album called the “Love Movement” I personally loved that album. However a few around the world stated that it could not touch Low End Theory and Beats Rhymes and Life.
But everyone has their own opinion. The album called “The Love Movement” was first class. And if was to released to day it would shake up the Hip Hop music industry.
During the discontinuation of A Tribe Called Quest as a band. Phife Dawg continued to fight the condition that he had which was type 2 diabetes. To fund his fight he would appear in comeback with the band when ever he could. Even though their was a continuing “beef” between himself and Q-Tip was still apparent.
Please click on this video below in regards to Phife Sawg explanation between the beef between PHIFE DAWG and QTIP.
"It's a strain on me as far as going where I want to go, doing what I want to do," he said. "When I was on dialysis the first time, my stepson was playing basketball [and] I couldn't practice with him. I wanted to go out and run with him and things of that nature, but I didn't feel good.” – Phife Dawg.
I have learned that Phife Dawg was working on a new solo album. It was to be called “Muttymorhoisis” which he stated was a reflection of his views on his career so far and on life in general. The world was given a glimpse as to what to expect from the album as a track from the album was previewed for us called “Nutshell”.
Phife Dawg speaks on the reflecting of his career and times with A Tribe Called Quest.
"It's odd in a good way. I never expected it to be this big. I just thought we were going to be celebs in the hood. Like, honestly, within 25 years, when you go to places like Australia and Japan and Amsterdam and London and Germany and these people know [the songs] word-for-word, it's crazy."
I myself never got to see A Tribe called Quest live, and it is one my biggest musical regrets to say the least.
The albums that A Tribe called Quest released were so, so good. You would not be disappointed when they bought out any album.
They were not afraid to mention or bring to light issues that sometimes got swept under the carpet within Hip Hop music. Together with the samples that they used to create the music that they brought out was stunning
I will say this about A Tribe called Quest. If the world went crazy for the film which got made earlier this year called “Straight Outta Compton” – (NWA). Then they are in for a treat if a COMPLETE FILM were made about A TRIBE CALLED QUEST as they were a much better group then NWA.
We do have a documentary that was made about the group though. Please click on this - BEATS,RHYMES AND LIFE - THE DOCUMENTARY and catch up on history on the band. You are in for a treat. JUST CLICK ON LINK BELOW.
Well that all folks for me now anyway.
Dj Mistri and the Electric Soul Show © www.electricsoulshow.com