Rapper Phife Dawg of the legendary group A Tribe Called Quest has passed suddenly today at the age of 45. The rapper was one of the members of the iconic rap collective known as Native Tongue. The exact details of his passing has not been released. Some have stated it was renal disease, a product of diabetes. He also received a kidney transplant in 2008. DJ Chuck Chillout made the initial announcement early Wednesday morning (Mar. 23), and soon social media was flooded with condolences. Phife Dawg also known as Malik Taylor was a clever wordsmith with his use of metaphors. Taylor appeared on all five of the group's studio albums, most notably 1991's The Low End Theory and 1993's Midnight Marauders, acting as the high-pitched, gruff vocal counterpoint to Q-Tip's smooth, mellow flow. The group broke up and reunited multiple times since the release of their last album, 1998's the Love Movement. As documented in Beats, Rhymes & Life, the group would sporadically reunite for live shows, but stopped short at recording new material. Music Life Social had the pleasure to interview Phife and his manager DJ Rasta Root last June. He talked about his health, new material, and working with J.Dilla. Last November, the group reissued People's Instinctive as the first of a massive reissue campaign. A Tribe Called Quest's Tonight Show performance of "Can I Kick It?" \u2014 their first televised performance in 15 years \u2014 would end up being the group's last. The rap game has lost a legend. R.I.P Phife.