I’ve been feeling under the weather for the passed few weeks (I was actually diagnosed with pneumonia this past Monday), which has caused a delay in me posting reviews. But when I got the news from my sister this morning that one-third of my favorite hip-hop group off all time had past away at the fairly young age of 45, I had to post about the Five Footer.
I immediately starting reminiscing about how Phife, Tip and Ali Shaheed’s music has touched and shaped my life since I was a young teen. Their innovative jazz infused brand of hip-hop, “common man” content, and the undeniable chemistry between the trio (and sometimes quartet, if you count Jarobi) set them a part from the crowd. I can’t count the hours I spent listening and studying their music and rhymes (and I can probably still recite every rhyme from every song off The Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders albums verbatim), as they helped me cope with the stresses of my teen years, and later helped shape my thinking as a young man.
Selfishly, Phife’s passing saddens me when I consider the fact that I will never get the opportunity to see ATCQ rock a stage live. It also made me wonder how much more classic music ATCQ would have given us had they not went their separate ways after The Love Movement album. There will always be regret and questions of what could have been, but I want to thank Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor for blessing my life through his music. Rest in peace.