Phife Dawg, one of the two MCs in hip-hop stalwarts A Tribe Called Quest, has passed away at the age of 45.
The founding member of the group - which was originally formed in Queens, New York in 1985 - was diagnosed with diabetes in 1990 and had been in ill health on and off ever since. The cause of his death has not yet been revealed.
Members of the hip-hop and rap communities - as well as musicians of other genres and even actor Elijah Wood - have been paying tribute to the rapper, whose real name was Malik Taylor, on social media.
So incredibly sad to hear the Great Phife Dawg of Tribe Called Quest has passed away at only 45 yrs. GREAT MC. Sincere Love and Respect.
— â?Jill Scottâ? (@missjillscott) March 23, 2016
— Mobb Deep (@MobbDeep) March 23, 2016
RIP PHIFE DAWG: https://t.co/F1i0hNIkK6
— Mac (@MacMiller) March 23, 2016
— King Push (@PUSHA_T) March 23, 2016
Rest in Peace Phife Dawg
— Big Sean (@BigSean) March 23, 2016
— SWIZZ BEATZ (@THEREALSWIZZZ) March 23, 2016
REST IN PEACE TO THE INCREDIBLE PHIFE DAWG
— el-p (@therealelp) March 23, 2016
RIP to the one and only Phife Dawg. Very sad. pic.twitter.com/NSyNAsWjzj
— Aesop Rock (@AesopRockWins) March 23, 2016
A pioneer of hip hop has left us. Rest in peace, Phife
— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) March 23, 2016
— FLYLO (@flyinglotus) March 23, 2016
Phife-HipHop & Rap word Warrior, simple as that.Breathed it & lined rhyme into Sport.A true fire Social Narrator my bro #RIBeats ATCQforever
— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) March 23, 2016
Phife Dawg made some of the most beloved hip hop ever. It's so sad that he's gone. I'd have gone to every reunion show till the end of time.
— Mark Ronson (@MarkRonson) March 23, 2016