Queens hip-hop community mourns A Tribe Called Quest member Phife Dawg

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QUEENS — New York City hip hop legends Kool DJ Red Alert, of 107.5 WBLS and DJ Enuff of HOT 97 reflected on the life and legacy of A Tribe Called Quest member Phife Dawg, who died of diabetes complications.

“Phife was the type of cat that articulated everything,” Kool DJ Red Alert said. Phife, “respected his craft.”

Phife Dawg was born in St. Albans Queens as Malik Taylor.  His death this week was felt much further. DJ Enuff told PIX 11, “it’s not just a Queens thing cause he was from Queens, it’s a world thing. The world is hurting today because Phife and A Tribe Called Quest impacted the whole world.”

In 1985 Phife decided to form a rap group and pulled together many of his former classmates. Kool DJ Red Alert helped them group secure their first major record deal.

While Phife Dawg was seen as a lyrical giant, privately he battled diabetes and ultimately died of complications due to diabetes.

“He was a professional because no matter what he was going through internally he got on that stage and commanded. He learned to fight it all the way to the end now he’s at peace,” said Kool DJ Red Alert.