Just as Kendrick Lamar was taking the stage Wednesday for his Sydney, Australia concert, news of the death of Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor started to circulate. Once onstage, Lamar took a minute to pay tribute to the influential A Tribe Called Quest rapper.
“Today, we lost one of the pioneers in hip-hop, by the name of Phife Dawg,” Lamar told the audience. “Right now, ain’t nobody cheering about me. We’re gonna give it up for him, for allowing me to do what I’m doing on this stage right here, right now, today. Let’s get this chant going.”
Lamar, whose jazz-minded To Pimp a Butterfly is indebted to albums like ATCQ’s The Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders, and the packed Allphones Arena then chanted “Phife! Dawg!” in unison. “Forever hip-hop. We’re gonna be alright,” Lamar said at the end of the tribute.
Many in the hip-hop community, including Questlove, Chuck D, Just Blaze, El-P and countless more, have paid their respects to the Five Foot Assassin following the rapper’s sudden death at the age of 45.
Watch another angle of Lamar’s Phife Dawg tribute below: