In the wake of Phife Dawg’s death, the hip-hop pioneer’s family has released the full cut of “Nutshell.” The song had previously been teased as the first single off Give Thanks, a planned solo EP whose fate remains unclear. “Nutshell,” which debuted Tuesday via Apple’s Beats 1, features a virtuosic flurry of prefixed rhymes atop beats by the late J Dilla: “The undeniable, untouchable, unstoppable, unusual / Underdog, unsurpassed, unyielding / Unsupportive, fuck you and your feelings,” Phife spits. “Insecure, nah, more like inhumane / It’s not a game, shut your mouth / Use your inner voice, stay in your lane / Inaugurate those with incentive to innovate / Insistent that those who inspire we will initiate.”
A music-video version also unspooled Tuesday night at Harlem’s Apollo Theater, during a celebration of Phife’s life. Directed by Tony Reames, the above visuals include tributes of their own, coming from the likes of Mike G, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and Redman, among other artists.
You can watch the Phife ceremony here and purchase “Nutshell” here — half the proceeds go to the American Diabetes Association and the National Kidney Foundation. “Malik believed that his voice could spearhead the movement of awareness and formally educate young people about diabetes and kidney disease,” Phife’s family said in a statement. “This is the perfect way to honor him and contribute.”