One Of Phife Dawg’s Final Recordings Releases & It’s Trademark Malik (Audio)
At the close of the ’90s, A Tribe Called Quest would go on an extensive recording hiatus. Q-Tip, Phife Dawg, and Ali Shaheed Muhammad would all pursue solo and side interests. For Phife, that was Ventilation: Da LP. Released on Groove Attack Records in 2000, “the 5 Foot Assassin” would recruit Pete Rock, Hi-Tek and J Dilla (as Jay Dee) to lace the tracks. Jay Dee had been instrumental to A.T.C.Q.’s late ’90s run, working extensively on Beats Rhymes & Life and The Love Movement. Even after the Queens, New York trio parted ways, Dilla was a helping hand to all parties—including “Bend Ova” and “4 Horsemen.”
J Dilla tragically died in 2006. This past April, Phife Dawg also passed away. Both multi-talented men lost their lives from illness, as Jay Dee battled Lupus and Phife suffered from kidney failure. Illa J, the younger brother of Jay Dee, was someone who was working with Mutty Ranks at the time of his death.
He explained in a Facebook post, revealing a thought-lost snippet of their presumed final collaboration:
According to the Yancey Boys member, Phife was especially interested in the beat to “French Kiss.” The MC rapped his intended verse over the phone to the Detroit, Michigan collaborator. Earlier this year, Illa released the song (and its corresponding instrumental) on his self-titled album. However, for the vinyl Heads, he offers a special treat: Phife’s verse upon the song. As heard in the snippet, the Dawg raps 32 bars about one of his favorite subjects: attractive females.
This is available as part of red-and-orange (some of Phife’s favorite colors, thanks to the New York Knicks and Mets) Serato vinyl 2-12″ set. Also included on the Phife Dawg single is “Nutshell,” over a J Dilla donut.