There are reports this morning thatPhife Dawg, part of influential hip-hop groupA Tribe Called Quest, has died. The New York-born rapper, whose real name was Malik Isaac Taylor, was 45 years old.
The news wasposted by DJ Chuck Chillouton Twitter just after 1 a.m. eastern time Wednesday morning, and music website Bluntiqjusttweetedthe following: “We’re saddened to report that Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest has passed away. RIP to the legend.” Others, like Aesop Rock, Steve Aoki, and El-P, have chimed in with condolences.
UPDATE 2:31 a.m.: Statik Selektah justtweeted: “Confirmed. rest in peace Phife. Man. I’m out.” Adds Chuck D.,a little before 3 a.m.: “Phife-HipHop & Rap word Warrior, simple as that. Breathed it & lined rhyme into Sport. A true fire Social Narrator my bro #RIBeats ATCQforever”
Taylor formed A Tribe Called Quest in 1985 with MC/producer Q-Tip and DJ/producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad. The group is considered one of the pioneers of old-school hip-hop.