KRS-One has dropped a fitting lyrical tribute to A Tribe Called Quest‘s Phife Dawg and will donate the proceeds from the track to the late MC’s family. “The Phife Tribute” is available to purchase on Bandcamp for a minimum $5 donation, though fans can name their own price if they want to give more.
Over a bruising DJ Static beat spliced with the occasional choral swell, KRS-One honored Phife’s life and career, and dedicated the song to his wife, Deisha Head Taylor, who donated a kidney to her ailing husband.
KRS also recounted sharing the stage with Tribe, recreated Phife’s famous opening lines to “Scenario” and proclaimed the group’s greatness with the closing lines, “Midnight Marauders classic, track after track / Low End Theory, boom bip, boom bap / Hip-hop moved ahead, and it never moved back.”
KRS also encouraged MCs to record their own 16-bar tributes to Phife, leaving ample room at the end of “The Phife Tribute” to do so.
Phife Dawg — real name Malik Taylor — died last month at the age of 45 due to complications from diabetes. His passing elicited an outpouring of grief and tributes from fans and members of the hip-hop community, culminating in a memorial service at New York’s Apollo Theater April 5th.
The event featured remembrances from Busta Rhymes, Kanye West, Chuck D and Andre 3000, as well as performances from the Roots, D’Angelo and Kelly Price. KRS-One also took the stage alongside hip-hop pioneers Kid Capri, Grandmaster Flash, Teddy Ted and Special K, honoring Phife with Boogie Down Productions’ “I’m Still #1” and a freestyle.