DJ Chuck Chillout broke the news on social media with a tweet that read simply, “RIP Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest [sic]”, and the news has since been confirmed by record producer Statik Selektah and several veteran hip-hop artists, who’ve all taken to social media to express their condolences.
While Phife Dawg aka Malik Isaac Taylor’s cause of death at this point remains unknown, the Five-Foot Assassin had been battling Type-I diabetes for years, after first being diagnosed in 1990 and receiving a kidney transplant from his wife in 2008.
The pint-sized MC and his A Tribe Called Quest bandmates Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad are all hip-hop royalty, and tributes have begun to flow in from across the rap community honouring the legacy of Phife Diggy, from the likes of Aesop Rock, Chuck D, El-P and more.
RIP Phife Dawg.
We’ll bring you more news as it develops.
UPDATE 24/03/16: Phife Dawg’s family have confirmed the cause of his death, as more tributes flow in.
Watch: A Tribe Called Quest – Can I Kick It?
RIP to phife dog of tribe called quest pic.twitter.com/f4t5fvg4WD
— DJ Chuck Chillout (@djchuckchillout) March 23, 2016
Confirmed. rest in peace Phife. Man. I'm out.
— Statik Selektah (@StatikSelekt) March 23, 2016
Phife-HipHop & Rap word Warrior, simple as that.Breathed it & lined rhyme into Sport.A true fire Social Narrator my bro #RIBeats ATCQforever
— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) March 23, 2016
RIP to the one and only Phife Dawg. Very sad. pic.twitter.com/NSyNAsWjzj
— Aesop Rock (@AesopRockWins) March 23, 2016
more than just a fly mc who's 5 foot 3 and very brave, phife is a legend who helped father hip hop's golden era. RIP pic.twitter.com/4w6zhiRSqp
— kalkutta (@kalkutta2much) March 23, 2016
Nooooooooo RIP Phife. I heard they just got a deal and was coming back. Yo that's soooo weak man!!!! They was posed to be on our album
— PRICE (@BOWprice) March 23, 2016
Those of you who are heads & had Low End Theory/Midnight Maurders on regular rotation know this is a truly sad day in Hip Hop. RIP Phife
— Orlando Jones (@TheOrlandoJones) March 23, 2016
A pioneer of hip hop has left us. Rest in peace, Phife
— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) March 23, 2016
— Garth Trinidad (@garthtrinidad) March 23, 2016
Hearing Phife's voice will forever remind me of my favourite time in rap music #RIPPHIFE
— FOREIGN BEGGARS (@ForeignBeggars) March 23, 2016