“People love the Dawg like the kids love Barney” is a line that will forever be symbolic of the rhymes and life of Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor.
Within A Tribe Called Quest’s dynamic career, from popularizing jazz-tinged instrumentation to inspiring generations that waltzed along their Paths of Rhythm, Phife has given plenty of reasons to the claim, “The shorty Phife Dawg is your favorite MC.” Next to Q-Tip, he stood as the wittiest and established himself as a street smart iconoclast capable of making listeners laugh and rubberneck at the same damn time.
Wielding witty lines like a flamethrower, the Five Foot Assassin blessed the game with a bank of couplets too good to overlook. With so many to pick from, we lined up a few of Phife’s wittiest lines to grace the mic.
“Hip hop scholar since being knee high to a duck / The height of Muggsy Bogues, complexion of a hockey puck...”
“Percussion isn't less, Ds wear the vest / Why they dodging bullets, you should be dodging Quest” — “Steve Biko (Stir It Up),” Midnight Marauders (1993)
“I remember when girls were goodie two shoes but now they turning freaks / All of a sudden , ease off hoe, my name's Malik” – "Butter," The Low End Theory (1991)
“Go get yourself some toilet paper, cause your lyrics is butt” — "Show Business," The Low End Theory (1991)
“I have a quest to have a mic in my hand / Without that, it’s like Kryptonite and Superman...”
“Coming with more hits than the Braves and the Yankees / Living mad phat like an oversized mama” — “Award Tour,” Midnight Marauders (1993)
“Hair is crazy curly, flip like Mr. Furley/To this day I still believe that no MC can serve me/Brothers try to front, but everybody know/I get more props than the Arsenio Hall Show” – "Vibes and Stuff," The Low End Theory (1991)
“Crushing competition like Italians on grapes / My rhymes styles be blending like a Ron G tape” — “We Can Get Down,” Midnight Marauders (1993)
“I'm all that and then some, short, dark, and handsome/Bust a nut inside your eye to show you where I come from/I'm vexed, fuming, I've had it up to here/My days of paying dues are over, acknowledge me as in there” – "Scenario," The Low End Theory (1991)
“Trini gladiator, anti-hesitater / Shaheed push the fader from here to Grenada / Mr. Energetic, who me? Sound pathetic? / When's the last time you heard a funky diabetic?” – "Oh My God," Midnight Marauders (1993)
“Styles upon styles upon styles is what I have / You wanna diss the Phifer but you still don't know the half / I sport New Balance sneakers to avoid a narrow path / Mess around with this you catch a size eight up your...”
“I float like gravity, never had a cavity / Got more rhymes than the Winans got family...” – "Buggin’ Out," The Low End Theory (1991)
“Let me hit it from the back, girl I won't catch a hernia/Bust off on your couch, now you got Seaman's Furniture...” — "Electric Relaxation," Midnight Marauders (1993)