Sunday, November 20 will be the birthday of late legend Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor, the game-changing A Tribe Called Quest rapper who sadly passed away earlier this year at just 45 years old. The day will be commemorated one day early this year, with the official unveiling of a newly renamed street in his home area of Queens, New York. At 1 pm on Saturday November 19, the corner of Linden Boulevard at 192nd Street in St Albans, Queens, will officially be renamed Malik ‘Phife Dawg’ Taylor Way.
The site marks the corner where the iconic video for Tribe’s Check The Rhime was filmed, and where there currently lies a mural in honour of A Tribe Called Quest. The renaming was instated by Daneek Miller, council representative of District 27. It was later approved by New York mayor Bill de Blasio, and will be unveiled by his family and loved ones. Said Phife’s wife, Deisha Head Taylor, “The thought of having Linden Boulevard at 192, renamed to Malik ‘Phife Dawg’ Taylor is indescribable. This is a perfect representation of who Malik was, and what Queens meant to him. Whenever he mentioned Queens, Linden Boulevard at 192, was a focal point of reference, so I am certain he would be pleased with having it renamed in his honour. We are extremely grateful for those who were part of the entire process; from the initial effort to the signing of the bill, this historical moment means so much to his family, friends, and fans.”
His mother, poet Cheryl Boyce-Taylor added, “I’m in awe as an immigrant mother. My family came from Trinidad to the US in the 50’s and 60’s. We worked as housekeepers, nannies and home attendants to educate ourselves and our children. For a moment I lost faith in this country. The renaming of 192nd St. & Linden after my son Malik, has made my American Dream come through. I am so happy. He was an incredible child. I was blessed to know and love him.”