(CBS SF) – Malik Isaac Taylor, better known in the Hip Hop world as “Phife Dawg” of A Tribe Called Quest passed away on Wednesday, March 23rd. He was 45. Taylor’s cause of death was due to complications from diabetes, according to the Wall Street Journal. In May of 1991, the Contra Costa County resident was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. In 2008, Taylor received a kidney transplant, reportedly from his wife.

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In actor Michael Rapaport’s 2011 documentary Beats, Rhymes & Life, Taylor said “It’s really a sickness, like straight-up drugs. I’m just addicted to sugar.” The artist referred to himself as the “Funky Diabetic” in several “Tribe” songs.

(L-R) Jarobi White, Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Consequence of "A Tribe Called Quest (credit: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

(L-R) Jarobi White, Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Consequence of “A Tribe Called Quest (credit: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)


A Tribe Called Quest rose to fame in the early 90’s. The Hip Hop crew consisted of Phife Dawg, Jonathan Davis aka Q-Tip, Jarobi White and DJ Ali Shaheed Muhammad. White has since left the group. Signing with Jive Records, the crew released five studio albums. Their first album, People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm spawned off hits like “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo,” “Bonita Applebum” and “Can I Kick It?”

Through 1996, A Tribe Called Quest would put out The Low End Theory, Midnight Marauders, Beats, Rhyme & Life and The Love Movement, most reaching Platinum Certification.


In November 2015, A Tribe Called Quest performed on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon where the crew celebrated their 25th anniversary of the release of the first album.

Related: Artists React to Phife Dawg’s Passing

Many celebrities and members in the Hip Hop community paid their respect through social media:
https://twitter.com/MrChuckD/status/712558615341588480/photo/1

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