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IT'S ALIVE: A Tribe Called Quest "Check The Rhime" (Letterman, 1993)

It's Alive briefly devotes the airwaves to live music everyday at 1pm. Tune in today hear this performance and more live tracks!

Today we remember Malik Izaak Taylor, known professionally as Phife Dawg, one of the founding members of A Tribe Called Quest. Standing at 5’3”, the emcee was also affectionately referred to as the "Five-Foot Assassin" and "the Five-Footer.” A Tribe Called Quest pioneered what would become alternative hip-hop when they released their debut album People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm in 1990.

Their second album, The Low End Theory, has gone down in history as one of the greatest albums of all time and as the vehicle for Phife Dawg’s breakout. The group achieved consistent success with all six of their albums being certified gold or platinum; this includes their 2016 reunion album We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service. The album was released just months after Phife Dawg passed away from complications with diabetes.

This video finds them in the early stages of their success, promoting The Low End Theory on Late Night with David Letterman (their first ever television performance) with their iconic song “Check the Rhime.”

Otis is the late morning host on WFPK. Email Otis at ojunior@lpm.org

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