Son. Husband. Father. Sports aficionado. Emcee. Everyman. Phife Dawg touched each and every one of us as Hip Hop fans worldwide. His sudden and unexpected passing affected me immensely. I consider myself one of the hugest supporters of Native Tongues and Tribe (peep the blog name: WISDOM SEEKER---BEATS, RHYMES, LIFE). I've had the opportunity to see ATCQ perform 4 times over the years (it should be five if I wouldn't have encountered the worst traffic in my existence on US Highway 29 trying to get to Merriweather Post Pavilion August 29th, 2010 for Rock The Bells). When Tribe was on their farewell tour in '98, I witnessed an excellent show for "The Love Movement", and was introduced to Slum Village and the genius of one Jay Dee, more commonly known as J Dilla in later years. I remember Phife rockin' the dope Len Bias jersey during a performance at Artscape in Baltimore years ago. Phife always repped that sports aesthetic when he performed in a specific market. That was the everyman attitude that he carried. He identified with the listener, and the listener was brought into the Five-Foot Assassin's world. I can go on and on about the music, the legacy, the memories, as we all can. Each of us has something that will lead back to Tribe, to Phife, but it will not bring him back in the physical. 45 is just too young to leave this earthly plane, but we never know when The Most High will call us home, so we have to live each day to the fullest. Malik Taylor is (and I say that in the present tense) only a few months younger than myself, so his passing (along with Sean Price less than a year earlier) truly brings mortality for my generation to the forefront. We are components of one of the, if not THE, biggest cultural phenomenon globally. Hip Hop.
I want to say more much, but I will be rambling more than anything else. The passing of Phife is still very fresh in my mind. Finding out via social media (which is commonplace in today's technologically-savvy environment) while I was enthralled watching The Art Of Organized Noize documentary late Monday night. This will be one of those moments in time that I will immediately identify as a "where were you" moment. I went from heights of pleasure watching Organized Noize in all their musical glory to the depths of sadness upon confirmation of Phife passing away. Sending deepest condolences to the family and friends of Phife. He is truly loved and revered worldwide. Through his music, his energy, his everyday attitude, he will remain with us forever. Beats. Rhymes. Phife.