Months after the tragic death of Phife Dawg, news that the legendary A Tribe Called Quest co-founder will be further immortalized with a street renaming has surfaced.
“Just wanted to let every one know that the New York mayors office just called me and said the mayor is signing the bill to co-name Linden Blvd @192 to Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor way on 8/3 at 10am at City Hall, Lower Manhattan,” Phife’s management confirmed.
The intersection of Linden Blvd. and 192nd St. is in Queens, New York – the self-proclaimed Five Foot Assassin’s stomping grounds. It was there that he and childhood friend Q-Tip formed A Tribe Called Quest; they would later add Jarobi White and Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and become one of the most revered and influential hip-hop groups of all time. With seminal albums like The Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders, A Tribe Called Quest pioneered alternative hip-hop and paved the way for other acts in the years to come.
Phife Dawg died at age 45 on March 22, 2016 from complications relating to diabetes. He famously spoke about his health condition in his music, with the line “When’s the last time you heard a funky diabetic?” on Tribe’s song “Oh My God.”
His passing shook up the hip-hop community, inspiring tributes around the world from the likes of fellow Tribe co-founder Q-Tip, Kendrick Lamar, Busta Rhymes, Mac Millerand Wiz Khalifa. A memorial service at the Apollo Theatre in New York City featured comments and homages by Chuck D of Public Enemy, Grandmaster Flash, DJ Kool Herc, Andre 3000, Kanye West, Black Thought, and D’Angelo, while LL Cool J, Lauryn Hill and Dave Chappelle were just a few of the countless celebrities to attend.
After Phife’s death, Beats 1 premiered “Nutshell,” an unreleased Phife Dawg song produced by J Dilla. The song later hit iTunes, with a portion of the proceeds going to the American Diabetes Association and the National Kidney Foundation.