A Season of Stuff is a writing challenge that I will be doing for the length of Spring 2016. The plan – to pick some object from within my personal possessions each day and write about it – its history, its significance, etc. Come on in – check out my stuff.
Woke up this morning to the news that Malik Isaac Taylor, aka Phife Dawg aka the Five Foot Freak aka Dr. Pepper of A Tribe Called Quest had died. It was a bummer of a way to wake up.
I feel I’ve largely been unaffected by recent celebrity musician deaths. While appreciative of the work of David Bowie and Lemmy, they were honestly never a big part of my life. But A Tribe Called Quest, and i’ve written about this before, had a pretty big influence on me when I first discovered them and their first two albums especially have remained perennial favorites of mine.
Tribe were one of the first hip hop acts I got into outside of the more well known and/or mainstream groups that I was familiar with at the time. Run DMC and LL Cool J. Public Enemy and Beastie Boys. MC Hammer and Young MC. You get the idea. It was around that time that I discovered Tribe that I would also discover Poor Righteous Teachers, X Clan and more and that really expanded my understanding of what hip hop was . Before really discovering DIY punk rock in college, this was really some of my first glimpses into a world of music that existed outside the confines of the world of mainstream radio.
A few years back for my birthday Emma got me this A Tribe Called Quest lyric print (actually I guess a double print) (from PaperJamPress) for my birthday and had our friend Christopher (the other half of Torley & Winterton Industries) make this special split window frame for it. It hangs at the top of our stairs and much like the “This day full of promise and potential” print, it acts as a daily affirmation as I begin each day. “You on point?” Damn well better be if i’m gonna make it through another day, ya know?
R.I.P. Phife – you’ll be missed.