Phife Dawg passed away last night (March 22) however his official cause of death wasn’t certain until now.
The family of the late Tribe Called Quest emcee – also known as Malik Taylor – issued a statement to BET which states that diabetes was the main factor in causing his passing.
"We regret to share the news that on Tuesday March 22nd, 2016, Malik has passed away due to complications resulting from diabetes,” the statement reads. “Malik was our loving husband, father, brother and friend. We love him dearly. How he impacted all our lives will never be forgotten. His love for music and sports was only surpassed by his love of God and family."
Phife’s longtime manager Dion Liverpool also chimed in about the news of his client’s passing and wanted everyone to also look at this day as a celebration of his life.
"While I mourn the loss of my best friend and brother, I also will celebrate his incredible life and contribution to many people's ears across the world,” he said. “Even with all his success, I have never met a person as humble as he taught me that maintaining a positive attitude and outlook can conquer anything. Now my brother is resting in greatness. I'm honored to have crossed paths with him. Riddim Kidz 4eva."
Phife Dawg passed away last night at the age of 45. In 2008, he underwent a kidney transplant following renal failure due to diabetes complications. A founding member of the hip hop supergroup A Tribe Called Quest, Phife Diggy was known for his playful self-deprecating lines and witty wordplay. He was also at the forefront of Tribe’s most seminal releases including Midnight Marauders and The Low End Theory.
Several in hip hop have already reacted to the news of his passing including Mac Miller, who released a song in his honor, and Kendrick Lamar, who interrupted his set at a Sidney, Australia concert last night in order to pay tribute.
Our condolences go out to Phife’s friends and family during this time.
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(Photo: Rodrigo Vaz/FilmMagic)