Four Great Phife Dawg (Of A Tribe Called Quest) Cameos

Phife is typically ignored during discussions of great emcees, which is a shame because his presence certainly enlivened many of A Tribe Called Quest’s greatest songs. Q-Tip’s distinctive voice and romanticist poetics were certainly a draw for many fans, but Phife’s slightly more aggressive and yet affable delivery added an extra dimension to Tribe’s very laid back approach. Try imagining a Tribe record without Phife’s vocals and you’re left with the rap equivalent of smooth jazz. Let’s take a moment to honor the funkiest diabetic not named Ghostface with some examples of rhyming excellence:

Fu-Shnickens “La Schmoove” – Chip-Fu had the acrobatic flow but Phife steals the show on this with one of the catchiest, most memorable cameo verses ever.

Chi-Ali “Let The Horns Blow”
– Dres, Fashion, and Trugoy all come dope, and Phife matches their ferocity. No need to listen to Chi’s lackluster verse.

De La Soul “Sh.Fe.Mcs”
– Phife holds his own alongside his Native Tongue brethren.

Diamond D “Painz And Strife” – Diamond is engaging as always but Phife’s kinetic delivery on his brief verse is both technically impressive and enjoyable.


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66 Responses to “Four Great Phife Dawg (Of A Tribe Called Quest) Cameos”

  1. The Unheard says:

    You left out one of my favorites, although it's really not a strong rhyme but it's fun nonetheless. How about his Ghost Weed appearance on De La's Mosaic Thump?

  2. NaturallyAlise says:

    Love this post… folks do sleep on folks Phife… even his album was decent but like 4 people heard it…

    *glad I found your blog*

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