A legend. A pioneer. An ill MC. Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor was my favorite rapper from A Tribe Called Quest. When I heard his Jamaican accent mixed in his dope rhymes (code switching), it brought a sense of pride. It felt like “we” were a part of hip hop. Busa Bust did it too, but he was roaring like a dungeon dragon whereas Phife was much cooler with his. When it came to representation, Phife was that guy for me. This was before I was aware of hip hop’s history. This was before I heard of Gil Scott-Heron, DJ Kool Herc, Grand Master Flash and Afrika Bambaataa–all of West Indian lineage. There are many West Indians who have propelled hip hop upward and outward but for me, no one has the same influence like Phife.
RIP Phife. Thanks for the memories, your contribution and representing.
Please watch and enjoy “Stressed Out” by A Tribe Called Quest ft. Faith Evans and listen to the homie, Phife Dawg mash it up.