Phife Prepares Solo LP, U.S. Live Debut

Former Tribe Called Quest member Phife Dawg will release his debut solo album "Ventilation" on the German label Groove Attack in September.

Also known as the Five Footer, Phife was viewed by many as Q-Tip's right-hand man, not as a soloist. But with the release of "Ventilation," Phife has plans to step up his game. Production on the 14 tracks is handled by Hi-Tek (from Reflection Eternal), Pete Rock, and Jay Dee, among others. Jay Dee also produced Phife's debut single "Bend Ova" b/w "Thought You Wuz Nice," which was also released on Groove Attack last August (see "Dawn Robinson, Saadiq, Ali Shaheed Join Forces; Phife Records Solo Single").

Phife has been spending a lot of time in Germany lately; he recorded the album there and toured the country with Lootpack. This July, he will embark on another German tour, visiting Berlin, Bremen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, and Hamburg as he previews material from the album.

While no plans to license the record to an American label have been confirmed, Phife's U.S. debut as a soloist is set for August 17, when he will appear at New York City's Knitting Factory along with independent acts Zion I and the Micranots.