On Thursday, June 23, the 29th Annual ASCAP Rhythm and Soul Music Awards will be held at The Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles, and on that night A Tribe Called Quest will be honored with the ceremony’s prestigious Golden Note Award. In a press release, ASCAP announced that the tribute will “include posthumous recognition for Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor, one of the founding members of the Grammy-nominated alternative hip-hop group.”
As a group, Tribe released 5 studio albums from 1990 to 1998, all of which were certified at least gold. They released three consecutive platinum albums from 1991 to 1996, including two of the most essential rap releases of the 20th century, The Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders. The crew’s interpolation of jazz and funk in their music served as a template for some of today’s biggest stars, including Kanye West, Outkast, D’Angelo and Pharrell Williams.
Past recipients of the award include Lauryn Hill, Pharrell, Dr. Dre, Puff Daddy, Jay Z, Quincy Jones, Tom Petty and more. ASCAP SVP, Membership had this to say about the decision to award ATCQ with the Golden Note: “A Tribe Called Quest influenced a generation with their fusion of hip-hop, jazz and socially-conscious lyrics. They continue to inspire decades later and are more than deserving of this special honor.”
It’s been an emotional and tumultuous year for ATCQ and Tribe fans, as one of its founding and most salient members, Phife Dawg, passed away earlier this year. Phife is remembered as a flow pioneer and innovator, and Hip Hop will forever be indebted to his genius and perspective.