in memory of MC Phife Dawg

Tribe Called Quest video still from Oh My God featuring Malik a.ka. MC Phife Dawg)
Tribe Called Quest video still from Oh My God featuring Malik (MC Phife Dawg)

A Tribe Called Quest was an American hip hop trio that was formed in 1985, and was composed of MC/producer Q-Tip, MC Phife Dawg aka Phife Diggy (Malik Taylor), and DJ/producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad. A fourth member, rapper Jarobi White, left the group after their first album in 1991. He continued to contribute to the band sporadically before rejoining for their 2006 reunion. Along with De La Soul, the group was a central part of the Native Tongues Posse, and enjoyed the most commercial success out of all the groups to emerge from that collective. Many of their songs, such as “Bonita Applebum”, “Can I Kick It?”, “I Left My Wallet in El Segundo”, “Scenario”, “Check the Rhime“, “Jazz (We’ve Got)“, “Award Tour” and “Electric Relaxation” are regarded as classics. The group released five albums between 1990 and 1998 and disbanded in 1998. In 2006, the group reunited and toured the US.

The two MCs began to focus on a range of social issues, from date rape (“The Infamous Date Rape“) to consumerism (“Skypager“). The songs were noticeably shorter, more abrupt, and bass-heavy. Guests on the album included Leaders of the New School (which included Busta Rhymes), Brand Nubian, and Vinia Mojica. Their innovative sampling, layering, and structuring of jazz records led many critics to label their style as jazz rap – a term which Q-Tip disapproved of, as he felt that while it described groups such as Stetsasonic well, it misinterpreted A Tribe Called Quest, who (aside from the song “Jazz (We’ve Got)”) did not base their songs around jazz.

The Low End Theory performed very well on the charts and was RIAA-certified gold on February 19, 1992 (it reached platinum status by 1995). In the aftermath of their success, the group once again toured and contributed the song “Hot Sex” to the soundtrack for the film Boomerang in 1992.

To learn more please visit:


I can only recommend YOU purchase A Tribe Called Quest The Low End Theory (Full Album) as the current copyright laws prohibit freebees sharing the Diggy…

I tried to make the Tribe accessible but seems if I refuse to Pinterest my soul, sharing the love won’t happen.  Apologies for feeling old school about the internet.  I do believe in supporting the artists and in honoring the memory of Phife.

This is the stellar Track List:

00:00 01 Excursions
03:58 02 Buggin’ Out
07:37 03 Rap Promoter
09:51 04 Butter
13:31 05 Verses From The Abstract
17:31 06 Show Business
21:26 07 Vibes Anf Stuff
25:46 08 The Infamous Date Rape
28:41 09 Check The Rhime
32:19 10 Everything Is Fair
35:19 11 Jazz (We’ve Got)
39:29 12 Skypager
41:44 13 What_
44:13 14 Scenario
48:26 15 Check The Rhime

The above A Tribe Called Quest video for Oh My God is being posted here in part for the sensible advocacy of condoms by MC  Phife Dawg and for NO Commercial Purposes.

sugar blues cover

Dufty warns (in 1975) about the rise of diabetes, and its correlation with soft drinks and sugar in snacks. Today, the epidemic of diabetes simply proves him right. The book Sugar Blues is full of data that support the urgency of his warning.

“Western medicine and science have only just begun to sound alarm signals over the fantastic increase in its per capita sugar consumption, in the United States especially. Their researches and warnings are, I fear, many decades too late…I am confident that Western medicine will one day admit what has been known to the Orient for years: sugar is without question the number one murderer in the history of humanity–much more lethal than opium or radioactive fallout–especially those people who eat rice as their principal food. Sugar is the greatest evil that modern industrial civilization has visited upon countries of the Far East and Africa. ..Foolish people who give or sell candy to babies will one day discover, to their horror, that they have much to answer for.” (59 to 60 pages Sugar Blues)

Dufty uses the narrative form to delve into the history of sugar and history of medicine. He mentions whistle blowers, such as Semmelweiss, to remind readers of the discontinuities in standard science. He also delves into the history of Cuba, history of slavery, history of tobacco and tobacco curing to present the sociology of sugar.  The status of sugar, as a product of refining, was compared to drugs:  Heroin is nothing but a chemical. They take the juice of the poppy and they refine it into opium and then they refine it to morphine and finally to heroin. Sugar is nothing but a chemical. They take the juice of the cane or the beet and the refine it to molasses and then they refine it to brown sugar and finally to strange white crystals. (page 22)  Later, the euphemism, “made from natural ingredients”, is cited as equally applicable to heroin and sugar. (page 148) (sited from wikipedia)


4 thoughts on “in memory of MC Phife Dawg

  1. Hello, just wanted to say I appreciate you talking about him. Heard the news a few days ago and other than “Can I Kick It” and this other song that wasn’t mentioned here, it’s literally the only 2 songs that I know from them, so I don’t really know much about them. I did know that they heavily influenced the Black Eyed Peas (and thinking about it, I do get an ATCQ vibe from their Elephunk album since I was a major fan of them aeons ago).

    Also have to agree with Q-Tip here, “jazz rap” seems really, really inaccurate to say the least. Very excited to check the tunes you’ve highlighted! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was lucky to have listened to them regularly when I was in college and I lived in New York for a while so I got to see them play. They were a regular soundtrack my best friend played… and she lived in Queens so it felt personal when he died and I was mad that he didn’t deal with his diabetes… he didn’t need to die so young. He’s like my age. It took me a while to respond because April 2 was my birthday and I’ve been out of town nature hiking… anyhow, I feel like I took them for granted until now and really listened to their progression. I sorta threw myself into their work again. It’s making more sense to me now then it did in my old stomping ground days… They pretty much did influence everyone. Black Eyed Peas always had a nice sound but they turned rap into pop and Phife doesn’t call rap pop… so… these guys will never be the same without him. Rap won’t be.
      Thanks for reading and listening and commenting Ms. Applesauce. Glad you found the GPA blog! 🙂


      1. Happy belated birthday!! Hiking, might need to do that a lot with my cousin and his wife when I’ll go to Australia on a working-holiday haha…

        I do understand how sometimes you take some things for granted. It’s like some media that were exposed to me when I was young, but I never really appreciated/understood their message just because “they were there all the time” until I re-emerge myself with their works again. Or sometimes completely brushing off certain artists and you realize how great they were now.

        But I guess I wouldn’t have it any other way since I probably wouldn’t have the mental capacity to truly appreciate their works at that time.

        Hope you had fun on your bday, and welcome back!! 🙂


      2. wow, an Australian hiking trip sounds like the thing to do if you have an opportunity.

        Thanks for the birthday wishes. I had a great time encountering egret, screech owls, the tracks of a cougar that chased a deer which I determined escaped by leaping across the mud and water to hide in the grassy marshlands… where the cougar couldn’t follow. It was like a forensic scene. I like trying to figure out the tracks and prints and stuff. 🙂
        I will be by your blog sometime in the near future to see what tunes you are sharing. Until then I hope work goes well for you and you spare some room for fun! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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