A Tribe Called Quest is being celebrated for their ingenuity and creativity tonight on Hip Hop Honors, but one of its members, Phife Dawg, gets extra respect for the courage he’s brought to his battle against diabetes. The ailment afflicts a big chunk of the African American population; reports tell us that 13 percent of blacks over the age of 20 suffer with the condition. Phife, one of the Tribe’s founding members, is fighting the condition with dialysis, and a recent switch in treatments has made him feel much better, one of the reasons he was able to participate in the Honors show.
“For the last 3 yrs I’ve been a dialysis patient,” says Phife. “The first two years I was on peritoneal dialysis, which caused me to gain a great deal of weight. For the last seven months I’ve switched over to hemodialysis, which has caused me to lose weight and has me feeling a whole lot better. Most people aren’t used to seeing me at this weight. Initially, I weighed too much for my size and height and now I’m where I need to be.”
As for his future outlook, Phife says: “My best friend and manager, Rasta Root, volunteered to be tested as a potential kidney donor, and he passed the screening process. It’s great news for me! Hopefully that will happen sooner than later. It’s been a tough year, but things are looking great for me.
I am grateful that my group is receiving this honor, and would like to thank friends, family and fans for their prayers and well wishes.”
Hip Hop Honors CO-Executive Producer Fab 5 Freddy was thrilled that his friend’s current condition allowed for full participation. “Working on this year’s show was a labor of love, our best ever, and Phife’s health was constantly on our minds as we re-worked shoots and interviews to accommodate his good days and bad days all the while hoping and praying that he’d have a good day on show day so the world could nod there heads once again to A Tribe Called Quest, one of hip hop’s most unique and creative groups. They were prime representatives of young black artistic intelligence throughout the 90s, a rare commodity in today’s hip-hop landscape. Phife had a great day at Hip Hop Honors and Tribe closed the show with a big bang.”
Here’s some information about fighting the disease. You can also call 1-800-DIABETES.