“Linden Boulevard, represent, represent.” Just one day before what would have been his 46th birthday, A Tribe Called Quest’s Phife Dawg was honored by having the block he affectionately referenced incessantly in his rhymes named after him.
With a sea of people screaming his name and his family and friends-including his parents, brother, and wife along with Tribe members Q-Tip and Jarobi as well as extended Questers Busta Rhymes and Consequence–standing underneath the street signs of Linden Boulevard and 192nd street in St. Albans, Queens, “Malik ‘Phife Dawg’ Taylor Way” was unveiled.
“One thing I want to take with you,” Q-Tip would say after Phife’s name was immortalized underneath Linden Blvd. “There’s a reason why the street renaming happened…. I grew up right across the street. My best friend Phife, right there.”
Q-Tip also referenced cultural trailblazers Malcolm X and Adam Clayton Powell along with Phife, who have all had streets renamed after them as well. “Those names are there to cement the purpose in your life” Q-Tip added. “Your names could join them…. Those names are to remind us of the purpose that we have. The anointing within us. Tomorrow is Phife’s birthday. This album came out three days after Election Day. This is no coincidence. This is divine order. This album we have out has nothing to do with us. It had nothing to do with fame and notoriety. It’s for reason and purpose.”
Tribe’s new LP We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service was released on November 11 to critical acclaim and sales to match. The lead video from the project “We The People” hit the net on Friday and features the collective galvanizing fans to come together. Queens Councilman Daneek Miller and personalities from Hot 97 were also among those who spoke at the ceremony.