Rapper Phife Dawg of 'A Tribe Called Quest' dead

Phife Dawg, a masterful lyricist whose witty wordplay was a linchpin of the groundbreaking hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest, died Tuesday from complications resulting from diabetes.

- Phife Dawg, a masterful lyricist whose witty wordplay was a linchpin of the groundbreaking hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest, died Tuesday from complications resulting from diabetes, his family said in a statement Wednesday. He was 45.

The founding member of the hit 1990s rap trio had health issues for years. He underwent a kidney transplant in 2008 to deal with a longtime battle with Type 1 diabetes.

Rolling Stone initially reported Taylor's death although a formal statement from representatives of the rapper had not been released.

According to A Tribe Called Quest's official website:

"Phife was the battle hungry emcee who had witty punch lines and an uncanny knowledge of sports. Sports played a major role in Phife’s career. He was the first to wear throwback jerseys in the early 90’s, a trend that would catch on 11 years later. Phife not only rapped about sports, he lived it. He considers himself the one person who was truly able to bridge the gap between music and sports."

ATCQ was known for mega-hits including 'Scenario,' 'Can I Kick It?' and 'Award Tour.'

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