A Tribe Called Quest’s Phife Dawg Dead at 45

Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest
Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest. Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

Phife Dawg has died at the age of 45, Rolling Stone confirms. The rapper, a member of A Tribe Called Quest, passed away on Tuesday, March 22.

Dawg had been suffering from type 1 diabetes, which he was diagnosed with in 1990, according to reports. He also underwent a kidney transplant in 2008.

Dawg cofounded the group A Tribe Called Quest in 1985 with Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad. They were best known for songs such as "Scenario," "Can I Kick It?"  and "Award Tour."

News of Dawg's death first surfaced via Twitter early Wednesday, with several of his loved ones paying tribute. An official statement has yet to be released.

"RIP to phife dog of tribe called quest," DJ Chuck Chillout wrote. "I just don't understand people comments today is a sad day for hip hop."

The Roots' Questlove, who leads the house band for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, also posted about his friend. He shared that listening to Dawg's song "Scenario" inspired him musically. (Phife Dawg performed on the NBC late-night show last November.)

"I swear to god THAT was the moment I knew I wanted to make THIS type of music when I grew up," Questlove wrote via Instagram. "(yeah yeah dad I know: 'go to Juilliard or Curtis to make a nice living at 'real music') but he didn't know that Phife & his crew already wrote my destiny. I ain't look back since. THANK YOU PHIFE!"

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