The Five Foot Assassin lives on. Following the untimely passing of Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor and the touching tributes that ensued, Tim Westwood dedicates his weekly throwback freestyle series to the Tribe Called Quest legend.
The never-before-heard clip comes from 1999 and it features Phife rhyming alongside Wildchild and Madlib. With the nimble flow that made him famous, the Funky Diabetic unleashes rhymes about John Lennon, Ringo Starr, and his discography.
“It’s been a long time,” he raps. “Since ‘Bonita Applebum,’ ‘Award Tour,’ and ‘Check the fricken Rhyme’ / It don’t matter. What’s the deal? / ‘Cause the microphone, I keep it Cheryl Lynn real.”
Remember the legend in this 1999 freestyle below.
Sadness over Phife’s passing has hit the hip-hop community in various ways. For instance, Busta Rhymes, who collaborated with A Tribe Called Quest, released a heartfelt message on Instagram about the beloved Five Footer.
“I’ve known this man for over 28yrs and I think I’ve seen him in the last 4 months the happiest that I’ve seen him in a very long time,” said Busta. “It was apparent that every wish that he had was coming true and I can honestly say that I was witnessing the anointing frm a bird’s eye view 1st hand. Until we meet again King, RIP.”