A Tribe Called Quest rapper Phife Dawg dies aged 45
Phife Dawg, founding member of iconic rap collective A Tribe Called Quest, has passed away at the age of 45.
The rapper, whose real name was Malik Taylor (pictured second from the left above), passed away in the early hours of the morning. His cause of death has yet to be confirmed.
Born and raised in the New York district of Queens, Taylor would go to form A Tribe Called Quest with childhood friend Q-Tip and DJ/producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad. Initially the group had a fourth member, rapper Jarobi White, but he left the group after their first album in 1991.
During the group's career they would five successful records, release singles include the hits 'Can I Kick It?', 'I Left My Wallet in El Segundo' and 'Scenario' and tour the world countless times. Taylor would also record a solo album, 2000's Ventilation: Da LP.
Taylor, who stood at only five foot three inches tall, was fondly nicknamed "Five Foot Assassin" and "The Five Footer" by both his fans and bandmates.
A number of high profile figures in hip-hop, including Obie Trice and Public Enemy's Chuck D, have paid tribute to Phife Dawg, you can read the tributes below:
Rip PHIFE DAWG A Tribe Called Quest inspired us all ! We will never forget!— juicy j (@therealjuicyj) March 23, 2016
Rest In Beats PHIFE ATCQ Forever pic.twitter.com/jwYNU6YLJ8— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) March 23, 2016
Nooooo, RIP Phife Dawg. One of the greatest 😢.— ghostpoet (@ghostpoet) March 23, 2016