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A Tribe Called Quest fans pay tribute to rapper Phife Dawg

Jalen Hemphill, a 22-year-old student Crotona Park, Bronx,

Jalen Hemphill, a 22-year-old student Crotona Park, Bronx, holding the discography of A Tribe Called Quest at a Queens memorial for Phife Dawg Photo Credit: Jason Shaltiel

A few dedicated A Tribe Called Quest fans will be able to attend a private memorial service for rapper Phife Dawg with his friends and family on Tuesday at Harlem’s Apollo Theater.

Tribe fans who received one of the 200 t-shirts and tickets at the memorial service for Phife Dawg Monday morning at St. Albans Memorial Park, Queens can attend the service at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Monday’s memorial was announced less than 24 hours prior to the event through social media. Yet over 100 fans showed up to pay respects to the deceased rapper in his hometown neighborhood.

At around 10:30 a.m. during a downpour of rain, rapper Dres from hip-hop duo Black Sheep surprised fans by handing out t-shirts and tickets.

“I didn’t know what to expect really because of the rain,” said James Williams, a 27-year-old DJ, from St. Albans who received a t-shirt that morning said. “But the fact that people came through in the rain, showing their respect means a lot to me and a lot to hip-hop.”

Phife Dawg succumbed to diabetes on March 22 at the age of 45. His funeral was held at a nearby church on Monday.

At around noon, a hearse carrying Phife Dawg’s body arrived at the park. Dozens of fans stood by the passing vehicle as it made a round outside the park.

“In the turnout, everyone was talking about how they first heard about Tribe and their first Tribe record,” said Carla Rodriguez, a 28-year-old photographer from the South Bronx. “It’s kind of like you’re reuniting with old friends and going over old memories.”


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