Following the death of A Tribe Called Quest founding member Phife Dawg, who passed away Tuesday at the age of 45, tributes to the rap legend poured in from all of hip-hop, music, and more. Kendrick Lamar stopped his concert in Sydney tonight to lead a crowd of 18,000 in a chant of Phife's name, while some of the biggest names in rap are sharing their memories of the Five Foot Assassin on social media. Mac Miller, paying his respects, has also created and shared a mix of some of Phife's verses. Here are some of the best tributes to Phife Dawg so far:
King Kendrick Lamar pays tribute to the late Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called QuestPosted by Matt and Alex on Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Questlove on Phife's influence, via Instagram:
"Phife forever 1970-2016
1991 in Sept I went to visit Tariq at Millersville U in the middle of PA (Lancaster). Miles Davis had just passed & I went on a binge to study his post jazz works. Went to Sound Of Market to purchase Nefertiti, In A Silent Way & Live Evil---the only non jazz purchase I made that day ironically was the most jazziest album in that collection: #TheLowEndTheory by @ATCQ. ---it was raining that day so somehow the 1...2 punch of "Nefertiti"/"Fall" just had me in a trance that train trip---even though I suspected there was a possibility that Tribe could possibly have made a better album then their debut (the perfect @@@@@ mic Source rating would be on stands in a week so I was right)---but I knew I wanted to save that listening for when I got up to the campus w Riq.---so some 90mins later when I get to his dorm--we ripped that bad boy open (I can't describe the frustration that was CD packaging in 1991, just imagine the anger that environmentalists feel when all that paper packaging in Beats headphone gets wasted---it's like that)---the sign of a true classic is when a life memory is burnt in your head because of the first time you hear a song. ---Riq & I had this moment a few times, but the look on our faces when we 1st heard "Buggin Out" was prolly Me & Tariq's greatest "rewind selector!" moment in our friendship. (Back then every MC's goal was to have that "rewind!!!" moment. As in to say something so incredible. Or to catch you by surprise that it makes you go "DAAAAAYUM!!!"& you listen over & over---Malik "Phife" Taylor's verse was such a gauntlet/flag planting moment in hip hop. Every hip hop head was just...stunned HE. CAME. FOR. BLOOD & was taking NO prisoners on this album (or ever again) we just kept looking at the speaker on some disbelief old timey radio Suspense episode. & also at each other "Phife is KILLIN!"--by the time we got to "Scenario" I swear to god THAT was the moment I knew I wanted to make THIS type of music when I grew up--(yeah yeah dad I know: "go to Juilliard or Curtis to make a nice living at "real music") but he didn't know that Phife & his crew already wrote my destiny. I ain't look back since. THANK YOU PHIFE!"
"MICROPHONE CHECK 1 2 WHAT IS THIS..."— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) March 23, 2016
RIP Phife Dawg, who taught us the only way to rock the mic is to be unapologetically yourself
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
I like brown ,yellow Puerto Rican or Haitian name is phife dog from the Zulu nation. Rip Phife pic.twitter.com/rSy8pSKnxC— Chris Rock (@chrisrock) March 23, 2016
Straight out Jamaica seen, Jamaica Queens. But you can find me out in Georgia, or anywhere in… https://t.co/eeeJtjqCMX— Talib Kweli Greene (@TalibKweli) March 23, 2016
Phife Dawg made some of the most beloved hip hop ever. It's so sad that he's gone. I'd have gone to every reunion show till the end of time.— Mark Ronson (@MarkRonson) March 23, 2016
So fucked up to keep hearing sad news about our comrades in our culture...— DJ Premier (@REALDJPREMIER) March 23, 2016
R.I.P. PHIFE DAWG... #ATCQ LOVE TO TIP, ALI AND JAROBI...
Phife lives through an all inspiring body of work; Pure and smart, MUSICAL and fun!! Why I fell for Hip Hop. He is loved. Tribe is loved.— ⭐Jill Scott⭐ (@missjillscott) March 23, 2016
Just woke up to the news that my childhood hero and friend Phife from Tribe aka Malik Taylor is gone...I have no idea what to say .. Floored— Peter Rosenberg (@Rosenbergradio) March 23, 2016
Phife was not only one of the most influential people in hip hop, but he was also one of the nicest & most kindest guys in hip hop. Man. RIP— solange knowles (@solangeknowles) March 23, 2016
Michael Rapaport, who directed the 2011 documentary about A Tribe Called Quest, tells Complex: "This was a sensitive guy, a very vulnerable guy. For his wife and his friends and obviously his Tribe Called Quest family, it’s devastating. And it’s devastating for hip-hop, and it’s devastating for someone so young, with so much heart. He’s a little big man. A little fucking big man."
Update: ATCQ released a statement Wednesday night via social media, saying they love and miss Phife. Full message below:
Our hearts are heavy. We are devastated. This is something we weren’t prepared for although we all know that life is fleeting. It was no secret about his health and his fight. But the fight for his joy and happiness gave him everything he needed. The fight to keep his family happy, his soul happy and those around him happy, gave him complete and unadulterated joy… until he heeded his fathers call.
We love his family his mother, his father, his son, his wife, his nieces, his family here in New York, Atlanta, California and Trinidad.
Thank you for the outpouring of prayers and support from the fans, fellow artists, music outlets, blogs, radio stations, DJ’s, social media and the music community at large. This too is part of his joy and means a lot to him. His family is overwhelmed by the support, well wishes and are thankful. His music and what he’s contributed is seismic and hard to measure. He’s affected us as much as he’s affected all of you. We’re inspired by his daily joy and courage. He wasn’t in pain. He was happy.
We take comfort in knowing he will be beside his grandmother.