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Phife Dawg Of A Tribe Called Quest Dead At 45

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Phife Dawg, the charismatic rapper and co-founder of A Tribe Called Quest has died.

He was 45.

The musician was known as “The Five-Foot Assassin” due to his height (5’3″) as well as his verbal dexterity. He also referred to himself as the “funky diabetic” which was a reference to the Type 1 Diabetes he was diagnosed with back in 1990.

Sadly, it was this very same illness that led to his untimely demise.

Born Malik Isaac Taylor in Queens, Phife went to high school with the future members of A Tribe Called Quest, a group who later became one of the most influential, innovative and beloved Hip-Hop acts of all time.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the band’s debut album People’s Instinctive Travels And The Paths Of Rhythm, they played with the Roots on “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon” back in November.