Hip-hop lost a Queens, N.Y., legend Wednesday in the passing of Malik "Phife Dawg" Taylor—one-quarter of the legendary rap group A Tribe Called Quest.
In the tree of hip-hop, Tribe was inarguably the branch that sprouted the leaves we now know as the Fugees, De La Soul, Kanye West, Drake, Mos Def, Common, Kendrick Lamar, and so on and so forth.
With Phife as one of its main MCs, the group made it cool to rap about black consciousness, Afrocentrism and fly-ass, sexy black women (in a creative and quirky way). They didn't necessarily care to present hypermasculinity all the time.
Phife had bars. People have been superimposing those bars over memes and photos to commemorate Phife's death. Social media reactions have been pouring in by the hundreds. Here a few that might resonate.
Rest in beautiful peace, Phife. As a "brown-skin buddy with shoulder-length hair, nice, firm breasts and a round derriere," I salute you and thank you for all the love you always showed us black girls.
Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele is a staff writer at The Root and the founder and executive producer of Lectures to Beats, a Web series that features video interviews with scarily insightful people. Follow Lectures to Beats on Facebook and Twitter.