It has been a few months since we last received word on Phife Dawg’s posthumous album, Forever. The late member of A Tribe Called Quest had been working on the album at the time of his death and it was initially to have been released in the first quarter of 2017, but those plans were scrapped and the album had been in limbo ever since. However, in late 2020, Tribe released a statement promising the album’s release sometime in 2021 and the first single, “Nutshell Part 2,” was released in February, followed by an animated music video in March.
A live-action video followed a few weeks later, and in May, a second single, “French Kiss Deux,” dropped, but since then, there has been little information about the status of the album itself. Today, though, A Tribe Called Quest was finally able to announce an official release date for the long-awaited project: March 22, 2022, the sixth anniversary of Phife’s passing. Dion Liverpool, a frequent Phife collaborator, helped to finish the album and will also be releasing it through his Smokin’ Needles Records imprint, distributed by AWAL.
In a statement, Liverpool said, “We faced a lot of ups and downs trying to get the album completed, and only by God’s grace and patience were we able to. I would like to thank his fans for being patient and understanding that nothing that is good and timeless will happen overnight. I took on the responsibility to help the family complete Forever and honored that I was trusted to do so.” Phife’s widow, Deisha Taylor, added, “As we celebrate his life on this day, we are overwhelmed with excitement of completing Forever. This album is truly a masterpiece and will exceed all expectations. The world will absolutely love and cherish this amazing album.”
His mother, Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, was also quoted, saying, “Forever, soon come. His voice a steel pan cruising the sea salt edge of Trini waters. A balm, a salve, a son’s kiss on his mama’s cheek.”