Phife Dawg, of A Tribe Called Quest
A Tribe Called Quest released their final group album this month, but co-founder Phife Dawg isn’t done quite yet. His widow, Desha Head Taylor, revealed some news that fans of the Trini Gladiator will be happy to hear.
On Saturday, Nov. 19, a block in the Saint Albans neighborhood of Queens, New York City was co-named Malik ‘Phife Dawg’ Way to honor the fallen lyricist, who died in March 2016 from complications from diabetes. During a press interview before the ceremony that would unveil the street sign, Head Taylor said that her late husband finished recording a new solo album before his death.
“His solo album will be out probably sometime during the first quarter of 2017. We’re working on it now,” she said. “He completed his entire solo album before he transitioned, so we’re excited about releasing that.” The record will serve as the official follow-up to his 2000 solo debut Ventilaton: Da LP, which was teased with “Nutshell,” a fly solo cut produced by J Dilla. The cut was scheduled to appear on the album, which was to be titled Give Thanks.
News about the album seemed unclear after last weekend’s release of We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service, A Tribe Called Quest’s final album. The album went no. 1 on the Billboard 200.
Taylor has fond memories of Phife Dawg recording We Got It From Here.
“There were times where he was working on the album where he would send me video footage of him rhyming over some of the beats that you would hear on the album,” she said. “He would make a certain face when hearing the beat, he would make this frown like ‘I’m feeling this,’ and you would hear his verses in the back. He was really excited about this project.”
is a journalist who covers music, pop culture, film/TV, race, culture and social justice. He is an editor at Okayplayer, and his work has appeared in Complex, Billboard, Guardian, NPR, MTV, Ebony, HipHopDX, The Flint Journal-MLive, and other publications.