The music world was caught off guard by the unexpected, and tragic death of the one and only Phife Dawg. A hip-hop great, he pioneered the genre with his sharp flow, wicked lyrics and his knack for knowing what sounds good before anyone else. The hip-hop community, and world at large have been openly mourning this huge loss, with the likes of Kendrick Lamar and many more taking time out from their performances to pay tribute to the legend.
A tribute concert is happening right now for Phife Dawg, but whilst that is happening, a brand new track has been released. It has been teased for a day or so, and now the moment has finally arrived. Titled Nutshell, the track sees Phife rapping over a sublime beat from none other than J Dilla– a match made in musical heaven.
The accompanying visuals kick off and end with Phife’s peers and colleagues talking about how much he meant to them, and what he is in a “nutshell”. In the middle of the clip, it’s Phife himself rapping in a graffitied warehouse – a bittersweet symbol of such a talent gone too soon. His lyrics are brash, hard hitting and full of that braggadocio that made him so loved. A fitting tribute, indeed.
Check out the clip below, and while you’re at it read our retrospective on A Tribe Called Quest‘s The Low End Theory.