Malik Taylor, known as Phife Dawg, from A Tribe Called Quest, died Wednesday at the age of 45. Although the cause of death has not been released, Taylor had been battling Type 1 diabetes for several years.
Taylor’s music with ATCQ catapulted hip-hop to another level. The group’s albums The Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders are pieces of hip-hop nostalgia that will never go out of style.
Although the group’s last album together was 1998’s The Love Movement, the group would periodically reunite for shows. Prime example is the photo above, which I took in 2010 at Rock the Bells in Columbia, Md.
In Beats, Rhymes & Life, Michael Rapaport’s documentary about the group, Taylor spoke about the impact that living with diabetes had had on his life.
“Even though I knew I had [diabetes], I was in denial,” Taylor said. “I had to have my sugar. You have to accept it. If you don’t accept it, it’s going to kick your ass.”
RIP to one of the greatest.