A Tribe Called Quest rapper Phife Dawg has passed away

The hip-hop world mourns the loss of a legendary MC

Queens rapper Phife Dawg, real name Malik Isaac Taylor, has died at the age of 45. The news was confirmed via Twitter by hip-hop producer Statik Selektah.

While cause of his death is currently unknown, Phife was diagnosed with type one diabetes in 1990 – the same year A Tribe Called Quest released their debut album People’s Instinctive Travels and the paths of Rhythm. Phife referenced his condition on A Tribe Called Quest’s track Oh My God, and his health situation was discussed in the 2011 documentary Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest.

Phife Dawg was a founding member of A Tribe Called Quest, who he formed with his highschool classmates Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad in 1985. The group released five full length albums, their last being 1998’s The Love Movement. In 2000, Phife released his only solo album, Ventilation: Da LP. Read a series of Twitter tributes below.