Music Malik Taylor aka Phife Dawg, is one third of the dynamic trio the world grew to love called A Tribe Called Quest. ATCQ was one of the first hip hop groups in the 90s to achieve worldwide success with their classic punch-line rhymes and jazzy drum heavy beats and loops. They became role models to a group of would be mcs who would go on to form groups like The Roots, The Fugees, Slum Village, and many others. Seminal albums such as Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders marked Tribe’s territory as a musical phenomenon. Q-tip played the nasal-flowed mc who made girls have a thing for him. Ali Shaheed held down the sounds for the group on stage. Phife, Phifey, or the Five-Footer was the battle hungry mc who had the wittiest punch-lines, an uncanny knowledge of sports, and had no shame in letting you know he was short, dark, raspy voiced and would take your crown. Together they wrote the score for a generation of hip hoppers who were not impressed with platinum chains and huge rims, but with your skills on the mic and on the production boards. All this defined A Tribe Called Quest.
In the late 90’s, even with multi-platinum success they knew that they would have to move on and shine in other arenas, therefore, the groups’ members decided to call it quits.While Q-tip enjoyed the success of his solo debut, Ali toured the world with Lucy Pearl, Phife was concocting his solo endeavor, appropriately entitled, ‘Ventilation’. This album talked about his groups’ unexpectedly breakup and speculation on why they broke up and how things could have been different. It was Phife’s breath of fresh air. Phife continued to deliver venom on a variety of beats from masters such as Hi-Tek, Pete Rock, and Jay Dee.
In the year 2000, Phife linked up with producer/dj Rasta Root to form Smokin’ Needles Records and Riddim Kidz production company. Both the label and the production company would become home to talented artists Slick & Rose, Jax, and of course Phife. In the mean time, Phife and company continue to produce that music to score the lives of new generation of music listeners.
Sports Throughout Phife’s life, sports have played a major role in this mc’s career. Phife is the one person who truly bridges the gap between sports and music. He was the first to wear throwback jerseys of his favorite teams and players in the early nineties, a trend that would catch on 11 years later. Phife not only rapped about sports, he lived it. He is a walking stat book on all levels of football, basketball, and baseball. He penned hits for the likes of Shaquille O’Neal on several of his platinum releases. He was a contributor to both Rap Pages and Slam magazine dealing with sports and music. He has served as music consultant for the Golden State Warriors. He is currently represented by The Alliance St. Louis (Home of Marshall Faulk and Nelly).
Phife’s current projects include appearing on the 2003 ESPY Awards theme song and video called, ‘Let’s Get Loud’ with the likes of Busta Rhymez, MC Lyte, Chuck D and Aerosmith. He has appeared on such shows as ‘Rome is Burning’, ‘ESPN 2: The Block Party’. He and partner/dj./producer, Rasta Root, have a song called NBA Ballout which will appear on Midway Games’ NBA Ballers video game slated for Feb 2004. They have most recently recorded the Dallas Mavericks’ theme song called, ‘Mavericks Phire’ which was personally commissioned by the likes of Mark Cuban. He currently writes a sports column on Spitkicker.com called ‘Only From The Mind of the Phifer’. For the 2004 Superbowl in Houston, Phife hosted the NFL Players Association Party, which featured performances by 50 Cents and The Roots.
Phife is a funny, charismatic speaker who is very opinionated (like Steven A. Smith). He is very knowledgeable on high school, college, and pro basketball. He is equally as versed in football and baseball. He IS the biggest damn sports fan in hip hop PERIOD. As he tells it, it is an incurable sickness that will follow him to his grave. He loves sports more than music, and he does music for a living. That should tell you something. Phife would be an ideal host or performer for any event because of his history with music and sports, and his incredible handle on both….