Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest Passes Away At 45 – blogged by: @eleven8 #Phife Dawg, born Malik Isaac Taylor of the legendary hip hop group #ATCQ, has passed away. He was just 45. The news was confirmed Wednesday morning by both #RollingStone and good friend DJ Chuck Chillout. As of this posting, Phife's cause of death has not been revealed, although the pioneer suffered from diabetes and other health issues in recent years. Some are saying he may have passed from renal disease, a kidney disease as a product of his diabetes. Phife, who founded #ATribeCalledQuest with his two classmates in 1985, Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad, planned to release a new solo project in 2016 titled 'Muttymorphosis.' In 2008, after spending two years on the waiting list, #PhifeDawg received a kidney transplant. Phife has opened up about his diabetes in the past. In 1993, on the song "Oh My God," off Tribe's 3rd album, he referred to himself as the "funky diabetic." In the hip hop documentary, Beats Rhymes & Life, he further discussed his Type 1 diabetes diagnosis, likening it to an addiction. "It's really a sickness," he explained. "Like straight-up drugs. I'm just addicted to sugar." Our condolences to Phife's loved ones.