Today in Tha Wire Malik Taylor, better known as Phife Dawg, of the legendary rap group A Tribe Called Quest has died suddenly.  Allhiphop reports DJ Chuck Chillout made the sad announcement this morning (Wednesday March 23, 2016) and the Hip Hop community has been flooding social media ever since, with messages of condolences, and disbelief.

Rolling Stone has confirmed the rapper's death, Phife Dawg was only 45 years old.  For now the exact cause of death hasn't been officially announced, however Phife had been dealing with health issues related to diabetes for a while.  According to reports in 2008 he had to undergo a kidney transplant.

While the cause of death has yet to be announced, it's a good chance his passing was a result of his ongoing battle with diabetes.  His loss will weigh heavy on the Hip Hop community and the remaining members of A Tribe Called Quest.  Below actor Michael Rapaport talks about the importance of the iconic group and why he decided to do the 2011 documentary on the Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest.  

During the full documentary Phife talks a little about his ongoing struggle with diabetes saying, "It's really a sickness," he said "Like straight-up drugs. I'm just addicted to sugar." The iconic group dropped a total of five studio albums and broke-up in the late 80's.  In spite of that, they would hook-up from time to time to do live performances.  Sadly any hopes of a follow-up to their final LP, The Love Movement, in 98' will never happen now.

The Rolling Stone reports health problems stood in the way of Phife's solo career in fact, he only manged to release one, Ventilation: Da, in 2000.  Last year it looked like things were looking up for him and he indicated that when he sat down with the Stone for an interview saying,

"I am in a good spot, but I have my good days and I have my bad days," he continued "But I'm more or less in a good spot, so I can't really complain." During the same interview, Phife talked plans of dropping the EP, Give Thanks.  He even revealed the first single was a J Dilla-produced joint called, "Nutshell."  So Phife Dawg was definitely planning a comeback.  Below is a preview of the track and video preview.

Fire right? Phife had so much more to come.  Because according to reports he also had a full length LP in the works called, Muttymorphosis, prior to his untimely death. Word has it the album was going to serve as an audio-biography, telling his life story.  Hopefully we'll eventually get a chance to hear it.  Our deepest condolences to Q-Tip, Ali and his family. RIP Phife...you will be missed, but never forgotten.

As we remember his legacy, below take a trip down memory lane as we celebrate and enjoy the music he left behind.

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