Mourning the death of Malik "Phife Dawg" Taylor, hip hop pioneer, distinguished citizen, and devoted member of his community

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LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION mourning the death of Malik "Phife Dawg" Taylor,
hip hop pioneer, distinguished citizen, and devoted member of his commu-

WHEREAS, It is the sense of this Legislative Body to honor and pay trib-
ute to the lives of individuals whose commitment and creative talents
have contributed to the entertainment and cultural enrichment of their
community and the entire State of New York; and
WHEREAS, Malik Taylor, also known as "Phife Dawg", a legendary Ameri-
can rapper, and co-founder of the seminal hip hop group, A Tribe Called
Quest, died on Tuesday, March 22, 2016, at the age of 45; and
WHEREAS, Born in Queens, New York, on November 20, 1970, Malik Isaac
Taylor was of Trinidadian descent, and grew up in St. Albans where he
began experimenting with music as a protege of the local Native Tongues
Posse; currently there is a petition to rename St. Albans Park in his
honor; and
WHEREAS, In 1985, Malik "Phife Dawg" Taylor formed A Tribe Called
Quest with his childhood friend, Jonathan "Q-Tip" Davis, along with DJ
and producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi White; and
WHEREAS, After signing with Jive Records on the strength of their 1989
demo tape, Phife Dawg and A Tribe Called Quest would go on to sell
millions of albums and record such classic hits as "Scenario," "Electric
Relaxation," and "Bonita Applebum"; and
WHEREAS, Known for their politically and socially conscious lyrics as
well as the positive energy which could often be found in their songs, A
Tribe Called Quest became one of the most beloved hip hop groups in
history as well as an alternative to the pop acts and gangster rappers
at the time; and
WHEREAS, In May of 1990, Phife Dawg was diagnosed with Diabetes Melli-
tus Type 2, and rapped about being a "funky diabetic" in his group's
single "Oh My God"; he was lauded for this admission and for bringing
awareness to the hip-hop community about diabetes and other diseases
which disproportionately affect African-American males; and
WHEREAS, In 1998, Phife Dawg separated from A Tribe Called Quest after
the release of the group's fifth album, "The Love Movement," and
released his only solo album, "Ventilation: Da LP," in 2000; and
WHEREAS, Over the years, Phife Dawg reunited with his former group
mates multiple times, including at the Rock the Bells festival in 2004,
2008 and 2010, and most recently in 2013, as an opening act for two New
York shows on Kanye West's "Yeezus" tour; and
WHEREAS, In addition, Phife Dawg and his relationship with the other
members of A Tribe Called Quest was the subject of the 2011 documentary
"Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest"; and
WHEREAS, An avid sports fan, Phife Dawg, was known for his love of the
New York Knicks basketball team, and has been featured on various radio
shows, as well as sports programming on ESPN; furthermore, he was a
playable character in the video games NBA 2K7 and NBA 2K9; and
WHEREAS, After being on a waiting list for two years, Phife Dawg
received a kidney transplant from his wife in 2008; this was unsuccess-
ful, however, and by 2012, he once again required a transplant; and
WHEREAS, Committed to passing on lifesaving medical information to
those in need, Phife Dawg was at the time of his death, in the early
stages of starting his own charity foundation, Fight for Life, which
would spread awareness of diabetes, renal failure, and lupus through
charity basketball games, concerts and other special events; and
WHEREAS, Respected for his intelligence, humor, and emotional candor,
Phife Dawg greatly contributed to the evolution of hip hop, and played a

vital role in helping this musical genre transcend the boundaries of
race, class and politics in the modern world; and
WHEREAS, An artist of colossal talent and charisma, Malik "Phife Dawg"
Taylor will be missed by his family, friends, fans and all who knew him;
his dedication to his music and his heritage leaves an indelible legacy
which will inspire others for years to come; Malik leaves to mourn him:
his parents, Walt Richard Taylor and Chryl Allicson Boyce-Taylor; broth-
er, Zachary; his devoted wife, Deisha Head-Taylor; stepson, David Armst-
rong Jr.; neices, Kira and Kaylia; Uncle Anslem Boyce; Uncle Roger
Taylor; Great Aunt Virginia Alexander; Desciana Swinger; step-mother,
Connie Taylor; close friends and co-Founders of A Tribe Called Quest Tp
and Ali; best friends Dion "Roots" (manager), Jarobi (ATCQ), and Steve;
PJ Best; Sue-Chin Keane; Michael, Mark and Zinzi Clemmons, Karole and
Morgan; and Peggy Best and family; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
mourn the death of Malik "Phife Dawg" Taylor, hip hop pioneer, distin-
guished citizen, and devoted member of his community; and be it further
RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to the family of the late Malik "Phife Dawg" Taylor.


  • 31 / Mar / 2016
  • 06 / Apr / 2016
  • 06 / Apr / 2016

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative


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