Busta Rhymes Pays Tribute To Phife Dawg With A Heartfelt Open Letter (Video)

There have been and will continue to be many tributes to Phife Dawg, who succumbed to complications resulting from diabetes, earlier this week. One with a particularly powerful impact comes from Busta Rhymes. As part of the Leaders Of The New School, Busta was an emerging star back in 1991, but it was his breakout verse on “Scenario,” the show-stopping posse cut that closed A Tribe Called Quest’s The Low End Theory album, that catapulted Busta out of the stratosphere and into superstardom. On that song, Phife lead off with arguably his most famous line (“I’m all that and then some, short dark and handsome. Bust a nut inside your eye to show you where I come from”), and Busta walked off with a base-clearing grand slam. Together, they were the alpha and the omega.

After some days of reflection, Busta shared on Instagram just what Phife and Tribe meant to him, personally and professionally:

I had to spend the last 2 days going thru a lot of honest thoughts and emotions b 4 I spoke because this one hurts soooo fucking much. I can't begin to explain what @iamthephifer and @qtiptheabstract and @jarobiwhite and @alishaheed means to me and how much they have done for my life. These guys are my big brothers, my friends, and the dudes that always protected me frm the bullshit that came with life both personally and professionally in a way that only big brothers can do it. If u look at this picture closely, on the night of one of my my most magical moments in my 25 year journey in music DEC.5th 2015, I was able to have a dream come true in a way that it never had and that was to perform What's the scenario (original and the rmx) for the 1st time ever back to back with all of the original members of Leaders of the New School and A Tribe Called Quest since we recorded these songs in 1991 & 1992. That night was so magical with all of the love that was under one roof that it's too much to get into the details of but again please take another look at this picture, if u notice @iamthephifer had his hand on my back consoling me as I kneeled down to give thanks crying tears of joy because of how proud of a moment that was for me being able to end a 4 hour set with brothers who put me in a position where I was able to tell my mother she will not have to work for anyone over 20 yrs ago. The belief that they had in me puttin' me and Leaders on that record, putting me last on the record because back then being last on the record meant EVERYTHING, I had no idea at that time what they were setting me up in life to be but thru out the years it was so consistent their love and concern for my well being that it was no way I couldn't see it. Ever since that concert I have had the opportunity to spend time with Phife way more than I have been able to in over 10yrs. I've known this man for over 28yrs and I think I've seen him in the last 4 months the happiest that I've seen him in a very long time. It was apparent that every wish that he had was coming true and I can honestly say that I was witnessing the anointing frm a bird's eye view 1st hand. Until we meet again King, RIP

A photo posted by Busta Rhymes (@conglomerateent) on

Here are A Tribe Called Quest and Leaders Of The New School performing “Scenario (Remix)” on December 5, 2015, at Busta Rhymes’ 25th anniversary celebration.

Related: In A Past Recording, Q-Tip Shares The Story Of How Phife Convinced Him To Try Rapping (Audio)