I'm all that, and then some
short, dark, and handsome...
Phife Dawg is probably best known as the higher-voiced, harsher counterfoil to Q-Tip's softer, poetic raps as a member of A Tribe Called Quest.
Phife was born Malik Taylor in Queens, NY. He started off as a child writing poetry, and later gravitated towards rapping in order to offset his small stature.
Along with Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammed, who he met in school in Manhattan, Phife started in the group "Native Tongues Posse"; a group of which Queen Latifah was also a member. Afrika Bambaataa gave the trio the name of "A Tribe Called Quest", and they burst onto the scene in 1989. The group lasted until 1998, when the members decided to go solo.
The Phifer's solo album, Ventilation, was released in September 2000. He claims that on this album, fans will see a "happy-go-lucky" persona that he couldn't show in the Tribe.
Phife is also a sports writer, who has been published in Slam.
I'm just a fly MC who's five foot three and very brave...
--Phife, Check The Rhyme
Editors Note: Phife Dawg died in his home on March 22, 2016 due to complications relating to diabetes. He was 45 years old.References: http://members.nbci.com/brians1/tribe/bios.htm, http://www.sonicnet.com/artists/biography/1150.jhtml, and http://www.hiponline.com/artist/music/p/phife_dawg/.