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Rapper Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest dies at 45: report

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PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 23: Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest attends SPiN Decision Makers Panel With Hype Williams presented by Bing on January 23, 2011 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Bing)

Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest has died at the age of 45, multiple reports say. (Getty Images)

A Tribe Called Quest member Phife Dawg has died at the age of 45.

The Rolling Stones confirmed the death of Malik Isaac Taylor who was battling multiple health issues, including diabetes, and also had a kidney transplant.  However, the exact cause of his death is not known at this time.

Phife, who was also known as “Five Foot Assassin” because of his height, started the pioneering rapping trio “A Tribe Called Quest” with his high school buddies Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammed.

Several members of the hip-hop community have expressed their condolences.