A posthumous Phife Dawg solo album is in the works.
On Thursday, the family of A Tribe Called Quest’s Phife Dawg announced that fans will soon be gifted with a posthumous album titled Forever. As a treat, the family dropped the first single “Nutshell Part 2,” featuring Busta Rhymes and Redman on Friday.
The original “Nutshell” was produced by J Dilla and released in 2016, weeks before his death. “Nutshell Pt. 2” uses the same beat but contains new verses from Busta and Redman.
The upcoming Phife album will feature “carefully assembled songs earmarked by his signature verbal fireworks, hilarious ad-libs, incisive social commentary, and unexpectedly introspective confessions” curated by Phife’s business partner Dion Liverpool.
“We give all glory to God for allowing Malik to accomplish everything his heart desired,” Phife’s family said in a statement. “He worked really hard to complete his album before he transitioned, and he was ready to share an album that was near and dear to his heart with his fans. His fans meant the world to him.”
Earlier in the year, Phife’s mother Cheryl Boyce-Taylor published a new book called Mama Phife Represents: A Memoir. That book features various tributes to Phife, including a number of poems that grapples with the rapper’s “death in terms that are often achingly descriptive and abstract, but also brutally honest and stark.”
In an interview with Okayplayer, Boyce-Taylor talked about why she wrote the book:
“After Malik passed away, I was losing a lot of memory. I couldn’t remember simple things [like] what day it was. I remember saying to my partner, “Was my brother at Malik’s funeral service?” I knew that I was just confused. So more than anything else, I told myself that I had to document this so I could remember it.
One of the things that I encountered was the big fear that I would forget about Malik. That was one of the emotional upheavals that I was dealing with. I began writing in a journal, and I was also in therapy working very hard to steady myself and get back on my feet.”
Check out “Nutshell Pt. 2” below.