This morning [March 23, 2016], the news broke of A Tribe Called Quest‘s Phife Dawg passing away at the age of 45, leaving behind the world in which his lyrics would indefinitely change the realm of Hip Hop both sonically and culturally.image

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Phife (born Malik Taylor) co-founded A Tribe Called Quest in 1985 along with QTip, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and former member Jarobi White, and went on to create some of the genre’s most legendary sounds to date.

It goes without saying, the group has since been placed into the ranks of one the greatest of all time, and the fiery talents of the “Five Foot Assassin” only solidify the claim.


As we remember the life and contributions of one of the world’s most heralded emcees, check out some of Phife Dawg’s most memorable lyrics below


“Put one up for the Phifer, it’s time to decipher/The ills of the world make the situation lighter

Song: “Push It Along” (People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm)


“When was the last time you heard the Phife sloppy/ Lyrics anonymous, you’ll never hear me copy”

Song: “Award Tour” (Midnight Marauders)


“Competition dem try fe come sideway/But competition they must come straightway/Competition dem try fe come sideway/But competition they must come straightway”

Song: “Jazz (We’ve Got)”


“Mr Dinkins would you please by my mayor? You’d be doing us a really big favor”

Song: “Can I Kick It?”


“Heyo, Bo knows this, and Bo knows that/But Bo don’t know jack, cause Bo can’t rap”

Song: “Scenario”


 “I grew up as a Christian so to Jah I give thanks/ Collect my banks, listen to Shabba Ranks/ I sing and chat, I do all of that/ It’s 1991 and I refuse to come wack”

Song: “Jazz (We’ve Got)”


“Now here’s a funky introduction of how nice I am/Tell your mother, tell your father, send a telegram/ I’m like an energizer cause, you see, I last long/ My crew is never ever wack because we stand strong”

Song: “Check The Rhime”


“I was the b-ball playing, fly rhyme saying/ Fly girl getting but never was I sweating”

Song: “Butter”


“Yo, microphone check one, two what is this?/ The five foot assassin with the roughneck business”

Song: “Buggin’ Out”


 “I like ’em brown, yellow, Puerto Rican or Haitian/Name is Phife Dawg of the Zulu Nation/ Told you in the jam that we can get down/ Now, let’s knock the boots like the group H-Town”

Song: “Electric Relaxation”