A Tribute Called Quest

Written by on March 24, 2016

Yesterday the news that Malik Isaac Taylor, better known to us all as A Tribe Called Quest’s Phife Dawg, was dead sent shock waves around the world.

Immediately, people did that thing they do when they’re dealing with the loss of someone great, and started sharing their favourite Phife memories. Favourite Phife lines, favourite A Tribe Called Quest tracks, favourite concerts and in the case of a lucky few, favourite personal memories of the Five Foot Assassin from Jamaica, Queens.

We’ve rounded up our favourite tributes to Phife Dawg for you all, plus some great interviews he did in recent years. Put on your favourite ATCQ records, and spend the weekend going through these:

The Five Footer Tribute

Our first port of call was to broadcast this tribute mix from the crew over at istillloveHER.de today but if you missed that you can either stream it right here or even download it.

On Point Traffic Tribute

This video of a traffic reporter Phife fan paying tribute has already gone viral, proving that hiphop heads can be found in the least expected places.

Kendrick Lamar, Questlove, ATCQ And More Pay Tribute

Many people are comparing the loss of Phife to the loss they felt when J Dilla died, and the outpouring of love from different artists shows how apt that is. Kendrick Lamar got 18,000 people to chant Phife’s name, Questlove wrote about Phife’s influence and a never ending scroll of artists shared their tributes online. Vulture has the best round up of those tributes Vulture has the best round up of those tributes here.

Phife Dawg’s Best Opening Lines

As people were dealing with the shock of Phife’s passing, they started sharing their favourite lines from the MC. One thing that was immediately apparent was that many of those lines were Phife’s always stand out intros to his verses. Spin made a list of their 50 favourite intros that serves as a great reminder of what a gifted lyricist Phife Dawg was.

DJ Yoda’s “Quick Rough Mini Mix”

This mix comes in just under 8 minutes but includes some of Phife’s best verses.


One of the most tragic things about Phife’s passing is how much he still had to contribute to the world of hiphop and how enthusiastic he was to keep doing that. A quick search reveals countless recent interviews with the MC, some as recent as January, where Phife talks about his new EP, other projects he wants to start, his still strong desire to get ATCQ back together, his favourite current rappers and producers.

Some of our favourites include this really intimate, honest conversation with Michael Nirenberg at Huffington Post, from just a few months ago. This Rolling Stone interview from November where Phife says We’re doing the fans a great injustice by not getting together and rocking“. In this Noisey piece also from November, Phife time travels back to 1990 and paints a vivid picture of the early hiphop scene.
And this conversation with Dana Scott at HipHop DX where Phife talks very candidly about those first albums and the origins of ATCQ is also a very good read.

Phife’s Favourite A Tribe Called Quest Songs

Again, another one from just back in November, Phife picks his top 5 favourite ATCQ tracks. 

Phife Dawg on Okayplayer 

This one is from 4 years ago, but Okayplayer did a whole series of video interviews with Phife covering all kinds of goodness.


ATCQ Reunite On The Tonight Show

Finally, A Tribe Called Quest’s first television appearance in over 15 years would turn out to be the last. A real tragedy as on the heels of this performance, Phife was so keen to keep performing.

phife gif

Current track