phifed

I don’t tend to do obituaries on here, in fact I think this is probably the first, but for a good reason. Phife Dawg was part of A Tribe Called Quest who were one of the first cres to steer me away from the gangsta rap obsession I had developed during my early teens. Hearing Low End Theory for the first time, was a seminal point on my timeline as a rap fan and my first foray into ‘conscious’ lyricism (a term I try to avoid but fail to find a better alternative as I write this).
Of course there were many other crews and rappers on the same vibe as ATCQ, but none of them seemed to work as well. Questlove said it best, on that now infamous soundbite: “Tip is very smooth, Phife is very hype!”, because there was something about the combination of these two on a track together that captivated me from the first bar.
I don’t want top go into a long diatribe about his early years and solo career because a) the internet will be flooded with shit like that today, but also because b) my fondest memories of him will always be rocking the stage with Tip, like this…

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