Phife Dawg’s impact was felt by many on Wednesday (March 23) after news of his loss to type 1 diabetes stunned his supporters. Fellow artists and fans echoed their fondest recollections of interactions with the Trini Gladiator, giving a collective head nod to his timeless rhymes and humble demeanor.
As an integral part of A Tribe Called Quest, Phife Dawg laced his lyrics with clever wordplay that spoke to his brilliance as a lyricist. Now, his rap collective issued a statement on their fallen brother’s passing, highlighting his strong spirit in the face of his illness.
“Our hearts are heavy. We are devastated. This is something we weren’t prepared for although we all know that life is fleeting,” the passage opens. “It was no secret about his health and his fight. But the fight for his joy and happiness gave him everything he needed.”
A Tribe Called Quest recently joined each other on stage in November 2015 for a memorable performance on The Tonight Show, performing one of their greatest hits, “Can I Kick It?” This marked their first television appearance as a group in 15 years.
Read the entire statement below.
Our hearts are heavy. We are devastated. This is something we weren’t prepared for although we all know that life is fleeting. It was no secret about his health and his fight. But the fight for his joy and happiness gave him everything he needed. The fight to keep his family happy, his soul happy and those around him happy, gave him complete and unadulterated joy… until he heeded his fathers call.
We love his family his mother, his father, his son, his wife, his nieces, his family here in New York, Atlanta, California and Trinidad.
Thank you for the outpouring of prayers and support from the fans, fellow artists, music outlets, blogs, radio stations, DJ’s, social media and the music community at large. This too is part of his joy and means a lot to him. His family is overwhelmed by the support, well wishes and are thankful. His music and what he’s contributed is seismic and hard to measure. He’s affected us as much as he’s affected all of you. We’re inspired by his daily joy and courage. He wasn’t in pain. He was happy. We take comfort in knowing he will be beside his grandmother.
We ask that you respect our privacy at this time.