Read A Tribe Called Quest’s Poignant Eulogies to Phife Dawg
Hundreds of fans, friends and family members of Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor gathered at New York’s Apollo Theater Tuesday night to pay tribute to the A Tribe Called Quest rapper who died at the age of 45 last month.
Busta Rhymes, Andre 3000, Kanye West, Chuck D and Michael Rapaport all recalled the immense legacy of the veteran rapper. But it was the rapper’s Tribe Called Quest groupmates Q-Tip, Jarobi and Ali Shaheed Muhammad, who closed the four-hour memorial service, that delivered some of the most moving, personal eulogies. Below is the complete transcript of the group’s remarks.
Phife is crazy because we travel a lot; we’d go to all these different cities, and you usually go to a city and know one person. Phife would go over the world and he would have his own enclave. It’s a true story. [Laughs] Phife is… he was my best friend. My brother and I’m not sad at all. The only thing that it’s hard to deal with this is how my life changes from this point forward. [Pauses]
Life is terrible. Life is awful and the smallest, littlest pieces of joy can be found along the way. Phife is the only person that I’ve [speaks through tears] ever known who won. He won. We went to ESPN and that’s what he wanted to do most of his life. We got to see a game in [Madison Square] Garden for boxing because he hadn’t been in the Garden since they rebuilt.
The most important thing: We got to hang and repair. These are music groups and shit, which is bullshit. That’s not what we are. That’s our job. But more than anything, we’re brothers. The person who Phife was or who he is and y’all know who the people here who he’s touched. The one thing about him, he’s an example of friendship, love, loyalty.
And I just wanna say, yo, um, just like his lesson, I love y’all niggas and we’re gonna ride out.
Ali Shaheed Muhammad
Crazy love to Cheryl, Walt and to Deisha, David. [Pauses] There’s so much and not enough time, just like life. [Pauses] When Q-Tip aka J Nice [crowd laughs] used to bust Jimmy Spicer’s “Super Rhymes” in class, I knew that was my brother. I thank him all the time for everything that he has done for me. I never thanked him for introducing me to Malik and Jarobi ’cause you don’t really do that sort of thing. Coming from Brooklyn, for all the Queens cats, and everyone in the world who swears that I’m Queens.