The music world was shocked late last night and into this morning when it learned the stunning news that pioneering rapper Phife Dawg, born Malik I. Taylor of A Tribe Called Quest had died on March 22. He was just 45 years old. His family has now released a statement to the public sharing the rapper's cause of death.
According to Taylor's family, he died due to complications from his ongoing battle with diabetes.
"We regret to share the news that on Tuesday March 22nd, 2016, Malik has passed away due to complications resulting from diabetes.
Malik was our loving husband, father, brother and friend. We love him dearly. How he impacted all our lives will never be forgotten. His love for music and sports was only surpassed by his love of God and family."
Dion Liverpool, his manager adds, "While I mourn the loss of my best friend and brother, I also will celebrate his incredible life and contribution to many people's ears across the world. Even with all his success, I have never met a person as humble as he. He taught me that maintaining a positive attitude and outlook can conquer anything. Now my brother is resting in greatness. I'm honored to have crossed paths with him. Riddim Kidz 4eva."
The music industry has been rocked by the news of Phife's passing. The New York City group became one of the pioneering acts during hip-hop's infancy in the 1980s and then the 1990s, releasing some of the most influential albums in the genre of all time like The Low End Theory and People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythms. Looking around the landscape today, their influence is felt in the rhythms, style and flow that other rappers bring to the table.