As we slowly (and painfully) come to terms with the death of Phife Dawg, one of hip-hop’s most distinguished and beloved voices, it’s important to keep in mind just how he, A Tribe Called Quest and the whole Native Tongue collective kicked open the door for this generation of culturally-minded emcees. The tributes from OGs have already begun to pour in, but it was Kendrick Lamar who may have led the most fitting salute yet.
Last night, in front of a packed house at an Australian show, K Dot interrupted his set and incited a chant of Phife’s name, shaking the walls with a lighter-lit vigil while he proclaimed the seismic influence Phife had on this generation of MCs and him, personally. It goes without saying that we here at OKP HQ are still very much reeling from the loss, but we’re proud to know that his legacy is well-cared-for in Kendrick and the new crop of verbal assassins. Hit the link below to see Kendrick Lamar lead a touching tributary chant for the late Phife Dawg in Australia and keep those memories afoot. Phife’s name will never mean anything less than greatness. Rest in peace to the five-foot freak.