Many A Tribe Called Quest fans braved the cold drizzly weather Monday morning for "The Celebration of Phife" in Queens' St. Alban's Memorial Park which paid tribute to Phife Dawg who died on March 22. Among those in attendance were Dres of fellow Native Tongues crew Black Sheep, Craig G of Cold Chillin' Juice Crew and Video Music Box host Ralph McDaniels. Phife's Funeral procession passed nearby at the end of the memorial, as Gothamist reports:
"Here comes Malik!" members of the crowd shouted as a long funeral procession of vehicles drove past (a small, private service for Taylor took place at a nearby Jamaica church). Visible in one van was Tribe member Jarobi White, who himself has called for a portion of Sayres, and all of St. Alban's Park, to be renamed after Phife. Fans shouted out words of thanks and love as Taylor's loved ones drove past. The hard-knocking beat of "Award Tour" blasted from a parked van.
"I got into Tribe through my older cousins. I'm 29, and I was seven when I first heard their cassettes," DJ and record producer Charlie Hustle said. "It kind of kicked off a greater interest in hip-hop, and I ended up moving from Milwaukee to the Bronx because I fell in love with hip-hop. Tribe has been an influence on my entire life."
Fans who went to "The Celebration of Phife" got a specially made t-shirt and a ticket to an invite-only Phife tribute that is happening Tuesday, April 5 at The Apollo Theatre in Harlem.
Also on Tuesday is the release of a new Phife Dawg single, "Nutshell," which features beats by J. Dilla. Phife's family will be donating 50% of the proceeds from the sale of the song to two organizations that were close to Phife's heart, the American Diabetes Association and the National Kidney Foundation. You can check out a teaser video for the single, as well as a few more instagrams from "A Celebration of Phife," below.