Happy Birthday Phife Dawg!

By Anton Constantinou

Spread The Word

Today we celebrate the birth of one of hip hop’s most underrated rappers- Phife Dawg, also known as the Five Foot Assassin.

Phife, born Malik Isaac Taylor, was a lead member of the legendary hip hop group, A Tribe Called Quest– established in the late 80’s, along with childhood friends Q Tip, Jarobi and Ali Shaheed Muhammad. The group went on to drop 5 classic albums in the 90’s: People’s Instinctive Travels And The Paths Of Rhythm, 1991’s The Low End Theory, 1993’s Midnight Marauders, 1996’s Beats, Rhymes And Life and 1998’s The Love Movement.

During that time, Phife put out one of the best verses ever recorded on the 1991 track, Scenario’. The track features ACTQ alongside fellow native tongues, Leaders of The New School. Phife has also collobrated with Diamond D, Pete Rock, Chi-Ali and Fu Schnickens on their 1992 classic,  La Schmoove. Following the break up of the group in the late 90’s, Phife released his long awaited solo album Ventilation: Da LP, which features the hits Bend Ova and Flawless.

Outside of the music business, he’s an actor and entrepreneur. He’s appeared in films such as Who’s The Man ? and Beats Rhymes and Life- The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest : which recounts the formation, break up and later reunion of the group. The film also explores Phife’s long standing battle with diabetes. As an entrepreneur,  he formed a professional sports management firm in the late 90’s which oversees the careers of athletes in the NFL, NBA and MLB.

In short, Phife is a man of many talents who’s yet to receive the full credit he deserves.  Here are two big tracks from his solo album. Enjoy:

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