Throw on To Pimp a Butterfly and you can hear the A Tribe Called Quest’s jazz-sampling influence all over the album, thanks to saxophonist and TPAB producer Terrace Martin. The frequent K.Dot collaborator once credited the iconic hip-hop group’s Midnight Marauders and The Low End Theory albums with helping him fall in love with the saxophone.
Kendrick Lamar’s love for ATCQ goes back even further than TPAB, with the rapper once rhyming over “Electric Relaxation” back when he was an unknown artist named K.Dot. So, as a fan, it was only right for Cornrow Kenny to pay homage to Phife Dawg after the illustrious rapper passed away Wednesday.
While performing for rap fans in Australia on Wednesday, Kendrick closed out his show with a fitting tribute to the fallen hip-hop icon. “There’s 18,000 in here tonight. We had a good time tonight, but I need one finger,” Kendrick instructed the large crowd before sharing news of Phife’s death. “Today, we lost one of the pioneers of hip-hop, today, by the name of Phife Dawg.”
Kendrick told the audience to focus their attention to Phife, saying, “So, right about now, ain’t nobody caring about me. We’re gonna give it up for him for allowing me to do what I do on this stage, right here, right now, today.” This was followed by a rousing Phife Dawg chant put on by the performer and the crowd. As far as paying respects go, any artist couldn’t ask for much more.