Rapper Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest Dead at 45

March 23, 2016 9:22 PM

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Rapper Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest Dead at 45

Phife Dawg, one of three members of the pioneering rap group A Tribe Called Quest, a New York City band that helped redefine hip-hop in the 1990s, died on Tuesday, according to his manager. He was 45, and had long suffered from chronic health issues related to his diabetes; he had referred to himself in one song as a "funky diabetic."

Known more for by stage name than for his given one, Malik Taylor, Phife Dawg wrote lyrics that mixed outrageous boasts, self-deprecating humor and sports trivia with warnings about the pitfalls of the music industry.

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