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VIDEO Rapper Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest Dies at 45

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VIDEO Rapper Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest Dies at 45

Phife Dawg, one of three members of the pioneering rap group A Tribe Called Quest, a New York City band that helped redefine hip-hop in the 1990s, has died, according to his manager. He was 45, and had long suffered from chronic health issues; he had referred to himself in one song as a “funky diabetic.”

Known more for by stage name than for his given one, Malik Taylor, Phife Dawg wrote lyrics that mixed outrageous boasts, self-deprecating humor and sports trivia with warnings about the pitfalls of the music industry.

Tribe Called Quest

(l-r) Phife Dawg, Q-Tip, and Jarobi White of musical group A Tribe Called Quest perform with The Roots on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on November 13, 2015.

He and partners Q-Tip — his childhood friend from Queens — Jarobi White and Ali Shaheed Muhammad incorporated elements of jazz, 1970s rock and black consciousness as an alternative to another genre, gangster rap, that was ascendant at the time. Their intelligent, self-aware message linked them to what became the Native Tongues collective, which also included De La Soul and the Jungle Brothers.

 

Phife forever 1970-2016. 1991 in Sept I went to visit Tariq at Millersville U in the middle of PA (Lancaster). Miles Davis had just passed & I went on a binge to study his post jazz works. Went to Sound Of Market to purchase Nefertiti, In A Silent Way & Live Evil—the only non jazz purchase I made that day ironically was the most jazziest album in that collection: #TheLowEndTheory by @ATCQ. —it was raining that day so somehow the 1…2 punch of “Nefertiti”/”Fall” just had me in a trance that train trip—even though I suspected there was a possibility that Tribe could possibly have made a better album then their debut (the perfect @@@@@ mic Source rating would be on stands in a week so I was right)—but I knew I wanted to save that listening for when I got up to the campus w Riq.—so some 90mins later when I get to his dorm–we ripped that bad boy open (I can’t describe the frustration that was CD packaging in 1991, just imagine the anger that environmentalists feel when all that paper packaging in Beats headphone gets wasted—it’s like that)—the sign of a true classic is when a life memory is burnt in your head because of the first time you hear a song. —Riq & I had this moment a few times, but the look on our faces when we 1st heard “Buggin Out” was prolly Me & Tariq’s greatest “rewind selector!” moment in our friendship. (Back then every MC’s goal was to have that “rewind!!!” moment. As in to say something so incredible. Or to catch you by surprise that it makes you go “DAAAAAYUM!!!”& you listen over & over—Malik “Phife” Taylor’s verse was such a gauntlet/flag planting moment in hip hop. Every hip hop head was just…stunned HE. CAME. FOR. BLOOD & was taking NO prisoners on this album (or ever again) we just kept looking at the speaker on some disbelief old timey radio Suspense episode. & also at each other “Phife is KILLIN!”–by the time we got to “Scenario” I swear to god THAT was the moment I knew I wanted to make THIS type of music when I grew up–(yeah yeah dad I know: “go to Juilliard or Curtis to make a nice living at “real music”) but he didn’t know that Phife & his crew already wrote my destiny. I ain’t look back since. THANK YOU PHIFE!

A photo posted by Questlove Gomez (@questlove) on

The recipe was wildly successful: A Tribe Called Quest became one of the most successful rap acts of its era, with three albums hitting the Billboard top ten and all five of its releases going gold or platinum.

After their 1998 breakup, Phife Dawg and the other members went on to solo careers, but his didn’t go very far, as he reportedly struggled with poor health. The group reunited a few times in the past several years, appearing on “The Tonight Show” in November 2015.

Phife Dawg, born in 1970, provided lyrics for early songs but didn’t become an official member until the group’s second album, “Low End Theory,” released in 1991. 

“But as far as chemistry, it’s always been there because I’ve known Q-Tip since we were 2 years old. The chemistry was always there,” Phife Dawg told New York magazine last year on the 25th anniversary of their debut album, “People’s Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm.” 

Phife Dawg was the arguably group’s most playful rapper, making fun of his short stature (calling himself “the five-foot assassin”) and his affinity for sugar, and referencing an array of sports and pop culture: “The Bionic Woman,” turbulent former New York Knicks guard John Starks, the “Three’s Company” character Mr. Furley. 

Last fall, he told New York that he was at work on solo albums, which he hoped to be released in 2016. But those records have not been released. 

He said he saw the time of his group’s rise as a golden era that is difficult to replicate. “Life is a cycle, and certain things are always going to come back around, especially if people cherish them like they cherish the golden era,” he said.

Entrepreneur, contributor, writer, and editor of Sostre News. With a powerful new bi-lingual speaking generation by his side, Sostre News is becoming the preferred site for the latest in Politics, Entertainment, Sports, Culture, Tech, Breaking and World News.

ENTERTAINMENT

Beyoncé’s Natural Hair is Hair Goals!

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Beyoncé's Natural Hair is Hair Goals! - Sostre News

Have you seen Beyoncé’s natural hair? Listen, now that is what I call “hair goals”! Her mother, Tina Knowles-Lawson, has shared a video showing off her famous daughter’s hair on Instagram. In the video Ms Tina is brushing through her multi talented daughter’s hair, and kept saying “au naturale”.

To say that Queen Bey’s hair is “envy enducing” would just be an understatement, that hair is just all kinds of amazing! I mean, if that was my hair I would probably not even wait for my mom to gush about it, I would do the bragging my self. Beyoncé though, isn’t as “petty” as I am, in fact she didn’t seem to appreciate her mother’s antics. She can be heard saying: “Mama, that is really annoying. I mean very annoying”, in a strained laugh.

This is not the first time Ms Tina has gushed over her daughter’s hair on social media. Last year she shared a photo of Queen Bey’s glorious tresses tied in a ponytail, and talked about how happy she was that her daughter’s hair grew back after she had cut it into a pixie.  Ms Tina is obviously proud of her daughter’s hair, but I mean, which mother wouldn’t be?

In fact she is proud of both her daughters, Beyonce and Solange. Back in February, in an interview with ET Online, she gushed over their accomplishments and said the the most rewarding thing is seeing them “grow up, and their accomplishments”.  She also added that the best thing about her daughters is “how good and grounded they both are “.

It seems like I’m not the only one who thinks Queen Bey’s natural hair is beyond amazing, one fan commented on Ms Tina’s post and said: “Beys hair is long like her money, lol. LENGTH BABY! LENGTH!!!!” . Then on Twitter, another posted: “I need her hair routine and products RIGHT NOW! I’m kidding [I’m] sure I can’t afford them.”

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Geto Boys’ Bushwick Bill Is “Still Alive and Fighting Cancer”

Legendary Geto Boys member Bushwick Bill has died after a longtime battle with pancreatic cancer, TMZ reports. Last month, Bill released a video describing the chemotherapy treatment he’d been receiving for his Stage 4 cancer.

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Geto Boys’ Bushwick Bill Is “Still Alive and Fighting Cancer”

Legendary Geto Boys member Bushwick Bill has died after a longtime battle with pancreatic cancer, TMZ reports. Last month, Bill released a video describing the chemotherapy treatment he’d been receiving for his Stage 4 cancer.

His death was confirmed by Geto Boys groupmate Scarface this morning, who took to Instagram to pay tribute to the rapper. “RIP Bushwick Bill,” he wrote in his Instagram caption. He was 52.

Bushwick Bill was born on December 8, 1966 in Kingston, Jamaica. The rapper (born Richard Stephen Shaw) moved to Brooklyn, New York in his youth before ultimately settling in Houston, where he joined Geto Boys as a dancer in the late 1980s.

Shaw suffered from dwarfism throughout his life, which informed to his early Geto Boys stage name “Little Billy.” At 3 feet 8 inches tall, he became one of the group’s most memorable contributors, and his image graced the cover of Geto Boys’ 1991 album We Can’t Be Stopped, which depicts groupmates Scarface and Willie D rushing Shaw to the hospital after shooting his own eye out in the summer of 1991. Shaw released six studio albums as a solo artist including 1992’s Little Big Man, 1995’s Phantom of the Rapra, and most recently the 2010 album My Testimony of Redemption.

Last month, Geto Boys announced a farewell tour following Shaw’s cancer diagnosis, which was later cancelled due to his health. According to reports from TMZ, he was also upset by the title of the tour, which implied he was on his deathbed.

Update (12:30pm): Bushwick Bill apparently hasn’t died after all. TMZ has updated their report to note that the musician is “still alive and fighting cancer” according to his publicist. The publicist confirmed his status with hospital staff, who say that the musician is still in their care, with numerous family members by bedside.

Update (1:45pm): In a new post on Instagram, Bushwick Bill’s son confirmed that the Geto Boys musician is still alive. “My dad IS NOT dead, he’s still alive and fighting for his life,” he writes in the post’s caption. “He needs your continued prayers and support. Certain people have been so quick to write him off as dead so they can capitalize off it, and it’s messed up because y’all really think these people care about him. There is no Geto Boys without Bushwick Bill.”

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Nick Jonas Feared Brothers Would ‘Never Speak to Me Again’ After Band Split

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Nick Jonas Feared Brothers Would ‘Never Speak to Me Again’ After Band Split

Just days before the release of the Jonas Brothers’ new album “Happiness Begins” on June 7th, the band sat down with CBS Sunday Morning to discuss their reunion journey and the circumstances behind their breakup.

After the brothers Jonas, Kevin, Joe and Nick, encountered stagnating record and ticket sales and faced internal strife, the band split up in 2013. “To call it creative differences is almost too simple,” Nick said. “And I think a lot of people lost the appetite for what we were putting into the world. So, you know, we were putting up shows that weren’t selling. We were making music that I don’t think we were all super proud of, and it wasn’t connected.”

He explained that the brothers’ relationship was also strained, so he had a “tough conversation” with Kevin and Joe. “I said, ‘You know, I feel like the Jonas Brothers should be no more, and we should go on individual journeys.’ And it didn’t go so well,” he recalls.

At that point, Joe thought that the band was done. “I checked out in my mind that – that was it. There’s going to be no more brothers ever,” he tells Smith.

Nick added, “And I feared that, you know, we – they would never speak to me again.”

Inbetween their breakup, Joe focused on his funky pop project DNCE, while Nick concentrated more on acting and his solo career. Kevin was dedicated to raising his two daughters.

Ultimately, the brothers couldn’t stay apart. “I think we –- we definitely were supposed to go through all of what we went through to get to this point, definitely,” Joe says. “I think it was, it was kind of, I guess you could say destiny, whatever it may be, but yeah, we got a do-over, and I think this time around we’re going to do it right.”

In February, the Jonas Brothers revealed their reunion plans with the release of “Sucker,” which debuted at Number One on the Billboard Hot 100. They’ve since released another single titled “Cool.” Alongside the release of their first album in 10 years, the band announced earlier this week that they would release new documentary “Chasing Happiness” on June 4th via Amazon Prime and a memoir titled “Blood” on November 12th.

On August 7th, the Jonas Brothers will head out on a North American tour in support of “Happiness Begins” in Miami.

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