Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
As part of the pioneering rap group A Tribe Called Quest and its extended Native Tongues family, Phife Dawg helped to usher in a whole new style of intelligent hip-hop. Born Malik Taylor, Phife grew up in Queens, NY, where he spent his childhood writing poetry and eventually rapping at school and in his neighborhood whenever the opportunity was available. Along with high-school classmates Q-Tip (Jonathan Davis) and Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Phife founded ATCQ, whose legendary decade-long career ended in 1998 with The Love Movement. The Atlanta-based Phife began flexing his new freedom in 1999 with Bend Ova, the first single with his new U.K.-based label, Groove Attack. A full-length titled Ventilation: Da LP, including appearances from Phife's alter ego, Mutty Ranks, was released the following year.