PHIFE DAWG of A TRIBE CALLED QUEST & Friends at Times Square
Type: Music & Concerts
Malik Taylor, a.k.a. Phife Dawg, is one-third of the dynamic hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest, together with high school classmates Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad. Tribe was one of the first hip-hop groups in the '90s to achieve worldwide success with their classic punch-line rhymes and jazzy drum-heavy beats and loops. They became role models to a group of would-be emcees who would go on to form groups like The Roots, The Fugees, Slum Village, and many others. Seminal albums such as The Low End Theory (1991) and Midnight Marauders (1993) marked Tribe's territory as a musical phenomenon. Of the trio, Phife, Phifey, or the Five-Footer was the battle-hungry emcee who had the wittiest punch-lines, an uncanny knowledge of sports, and no shame in letting you know he was short, dark, raspy voiced, and would take your crown. Together the group wrote the score for a generation of hip-hoppers.
In the late '90s, even with multi-platinum success, Tribe disbanded so its members could move on and shine in other arenas. Phife quickly concocted his first solo endeavor, appropriately entitled Ventilation: Da LP (2000). This album dealt with Tribe's unexpected breakup, speculating on why they broke up and how things could have been different. It was Phife's breath of fresh air. In the same year, he also linked up with producer and DJ Rasta Root to form Smokin' Needles Records and Riddim Kidz production company. Both the label and the production company quickly became home to talented artists like Slick & Rose, Jax, and of course Phife. Over the course of the coming years, Phife continued to deliver venom on a variety of beats from masters such as Hi-Tek, Pete Rock, and Jay Dee.