Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Broadway’s ‘Hamilton’ Pays Tribute to Phife Dawg Mid-Show

Okierete Onaodowan as Hercules Mulligan in Hamilton
Okierete Onaodowan as Hercules Mulligan in Hamilton

*”Hamilton” star and creator Lin-Manuel Miranda found a way to honor the late Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest during the show’s performance Wednesday night.

The playwright has been vocal about the rap group’s influence on his life and creativity. After Phife’s death on Tuesday, Miranda tweted that the Hamilton cast honored him during both of Wednesday’s shows.

“Today’s audience got to hear Hamilton scream ‘Can I kick it?’ and Mulligan respond, ‘Yes ya can’ during Yorktown,” he tweeted after Wednesday’s matinee.

And in the evening he wrote, “Tonight’s audience heard Hamilton scream ‘here we go yo, here we go yo’ during Yorktown.”

Phife Dawg, whose real name was Malik Taylor, died on March 22, 2016 due to complications relating to diabetes at the age of 45.

His family said in a statement that “Malik was our loving husband, father, brother and friend. We love him dearly. How he impacted all our lives will never be forgotten. His love for music and sports was only surpassed by his love of God and family.”

Phife was diagnosed with diabetes in May 1990. He mentioned being a “funky diabetic” in the single “Oh My God” from the group’s third album, Midnight Marauders.[9] After being on a waiting list for two years, Phife received a kidney transplant from his wife in 2008. This was unsuccessful, however, and by 2012 he once again required a transplant.

Better known by his stage name Phife Dawg (or simply Phife), he was an American rapper of Trinidadian descent, and a member of the group A Tribe Called Quest with high school classmates Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad (and for a short time Jarobi White). He was also known as the “Five Foot Assassin” and “The Five Footer,” because he stood at 5 feet 3 inches (1.60 m).

Phife has been described as having a “self-deprecating swagger,” and his work with A Tribe Called Quest helped to challenge the “macho posturing” of rap and hip-hop music during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Phife’s work has been cited as an influence on Kanye West, Jill Scott, The Roots and Common, while the 1991 album The Low End Theory is considered one of the greatest hip-hop albums released.

For more info on Phife Dawg, visit his page at Wikipedia.



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