Phife described himself as a "West Indian" of Trinidadian descent. He was a cousin of writer Zinzi Clemmons. Phife was an avid sports fan and was featured on various radio shows and sports programming on ESPN. He was also a playable character in the video games NBA 2K7 and NBA 2K9. Phife was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus in May
A Tribe Called Quest was an American hip hop group formed in St. Albans, Queens, New York in 1985, originally composed of rapper and main producer Q-Tip, rapper Phife Dawg, DJ and co-producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and rapper Jarobi White. The group is regarded as a pioneer of alternative hip hop music.