Q-Tip pays homage to Phife Dawg at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado; Photo Kyle Eustice/YouTube


During A Tribe Called Quest‘s final show in Morrison, Colorado at Red Rocks Amphitheater last week (Thursday, August 10), Q-Tip gave a heartfelt ode to the late longtime friend and cofounder of Tribe, Malik Izaak ‘Phife Dawg’ Taylor, as reported by HipHopDX.

Keeping in step with previous homages since Phife’s passing over the course of their current comeback and swan song tour since dropping LP6, We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service — Tribe has said this will be their last run before disbanding for good — the crew took it a step further and honored Phife numerous times during their two-hour set.

As they performed classic Tribe cuts, anytime Phife’s verse came up, Jarobi, Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad would turn their backs to the crowd and stare solemnly at a giant portrait of Phife as his verse was streamed over a loudspeaker.

At one point during the performance Q-Tip took time out to explain how Phife convinced him to start rapping. He added that they started rhyming when they were nine-years-old and after hearing “Rapper’s Delight” Phife encouraged Tip to rhyme too. He also talked about how Run-DMC proved to them that it was possible to turn rap into a career.

During his speech Tip paused several times to gather himself. He was clearly moved and spoke fondly of Phife not just as a collaborator, but as a brother. For the whole set an unmanned mic was put in place in honor of Phife and no one dared touch it.

When it came time to push Low End Theory classic “Butter” Q-Tip divulged an anecdote about the day they recorded it, and the charming braggadocio Phife brought to the studio.

“When I first did the beat, he came in the studio with some chicks,” said Tip. “I was in there working all night in the studio, so I played the beat, Ali’s in there, he’s like, ‘Yo this is my solo shit.’ I was like, ‘Nah, we both on it. He was like, ‘Nah fuck that. This is my record.’ And it is his record. It’s my favorite. Enjoy it.”

Malik Izaak ‘Phife Dawg’ Taylor passed away on March 22, 2016 from complications stemming from diabetes.

Check out the fan-shot footage from the Red Rocks show below and rehash the classic version of “Butter” following, because Phife is on the mic and he’s smooth like a spreadable dairy product: