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R.I.P. Phife Dawg: A Tribe Called Quest Releases Statement on Rapper's Death

by Cailey Lindberg   Mar 24, 2016 23:12 PM EDT

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A Tribe Called Quest has released a statement about his death of member Malik Taylor, better known as Phife Dawg. The rapper, whose diabetic condition was well-known, was 45. 

Taylor had a kidney transplant in 2008 in order to relieve some of his persistent symptoms.

“Our hearts are heavy,” the rappers said in a statement, according to Rolling Stone. “We are devastated. This is something we weren’t prepared for, although we all know that life is fleeting. It was no secret about his health and his fight. But the fight for his joy and happiness gave him everything he needed. The fight to keep his family happy, his soul happy and those around him happy, gave him complete and unadulterated joy … until he heeded his father’s call.

“We love his family, his mother, his son, his wife, his nieces, his family here in New York, Atlanta, California and Trinidad. Thank you for the outpouring of prayers and support from the fans, fellow artists, music outlets, blogs, radio stations, DJs, social media and the media community at large. This too is part of his joy and means a lot to him.”

Twitter reacted strongly following the death of Taylor -- Chuck D and Statik Selektah were among top hip-hop artists who tweeted their support.

In addition, Best Coast, Sean Lennon and Jenny Lewis also paid tribute. Kendrick Lamar even dedicated his show in Sydney, Australia, to the late rapper.

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