Tuesday night at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, a collection of hip-hop greats assembled to honor Phife Dawg, the legendary A Tribe Called Quest rapper who died in late March. Phife's Tribe groupmates, Kanye West, and Andre 3000 all paid moving tribute, relaying stories of their relationships with the late MC and the impact he made on their lives.
Q-Tip, who was not just a Tribe partner-in-rhyme but a childhood friend of Phife's, told tales of their days as kids in New York, admiring fellow Queens natives LL Cool J and Run-DMC, hoping to one day emulate their talent and success.
Kanye, meanwhile, talked about Tribe with the same esteem with which Tip recognized LL and Run.
"Anything I ever did wrong, blame Tip and Phife, 'cause y'all raised me," he said, earning some laughs. "Y'all made it OK for me to be me."
Andre 3000, similarly, highlighted the influence that Phife and Tribe had on he and Big Boi.
"Outkast would not be Outkast" without Tribe, he said. "In high school, my rap name was Jhaz -- because of these n---as."
He also revealed news that he called "interesting" and "disappointing" -- and it was, indeed, both of those things.
"About a year or two ago, maybe, we were talking about doing an A Tribe Called Quest and Outkast album," he said, later calling Tribe the greatest hip-hop group of all-time. "For whatever reason, it did not happen. But, I just want to say, I don't want to let the time go by. Please people, don't let the time go by. Because you never know. That's one of the biggest things I regret now."
The Roots, D'Angelo, and KRS-One all paid musical tribute, as well.
In addition, a new video from Phife, "Nutshell," produced by J Dilla, dropped, which you can watch below.