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Kanye West Honors A Tribe Called Quest’s Phife Dawg at Memorial Service

Kanye West honored Phife Dawg at a memorial service on Tuesday, April 5, at the Apollo Theater in NYC, where he delivered a touching speech about the late artist’s impact on his personal career and life. The Tribe Called Quest rapper, born Malik Taylor, died last month at age 45, after complications from diabetes.

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According to Rolling Stone, The Roots, Lauryn Hill, LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes, Andre 3000 and megaproducer L.A. Reid attended the gathering to pay their respects to the late musician, and West was one of the speakers at the service.

Kanye West and Phife Dawg
Kanye West (left) and Phife Dawg

Low End Theory was the first album I ever bought, and I stayed in the suburbs of Chicago with my stepfather,” West recalled, referring to A Tribe Called Quest’s 1991 album, which included hits such as “Check the Rhime” and “Scenario,” among other tracks. “I’d always get into trouble for listening to music during the week and then I would have to go to detention or study hall, but I enjoyed it ’cause I had that Tribe tape and it didn’t really matter how long that walk was.”

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The “Famous” rapper flew directly from Vail, Colorado — where his wife, Kim Kardashian, and other members of the family are currently enjoying a secret getaway — to eulogize Phife Dawg (the “5 Foot Assassin”), who’s credited as one of the founding fathers of hip-hop.

Phife Dawg, Q-Tip and Jarobi White
Phife Dawg, Q-Tip and Jarobi White (from left) of A Tribe Called Quest perform at Barclays Center in 2013.

“Anything I ever did wrong, blame Tip and Phife ’cause y’all raised me,” West mused on Tuesday night. “Tribe made Kanye West. Made the kid with the pink polo. Made it so I could dress funny. I’m not sorry if I said something wrong.”

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Taylor’s ATCQ bandmates Jarobi, Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad also mourned the late artist, closing out the four-hour memorial with individual speeches.

Watch part of West’s eulogy above.


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