New York Knicks Pays Tribute to Phife Dawg in Support of His Posthumous Album 'Forever'
Phife Dawg's sixth anniversary of passing occurred on Tuesday (March 22), the same day as his first posthumous solo album, Forever, was released. The 13-track project featured Busta Rhymes, Redman, Rapsody, Q-Tip and his mother Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, among others.
On the same night as the album arrived, the New York Knicks - one of the Tribe Called Quest MC's favorite basketball teams - played the Atlanta Hawks at Madison Square Garden. DJ Rasta Root, who executive produced the album as well as being a close friend and collaborator of the Five-Foot Assassin, caught the moment Phife's tribute appeared during the game on Instagram. Phife's many accomplishments were celebrated as the announcer plugged the long-awaited album over the loud speakers.
“Super shout out to the @nyknicks for this tribute to @phifeforever album release day at @thegarden tonight vs. Phife’s second home @atlhawks,” he wrote in the caption. “Also thank you to the @nba for the tickets via my super plug Troy Datcher! #rootswemadeit.”
Forever began rolling out in February 2021 with the release of "Nutshell 2" featuring Redman and Busta Rhymes. The song is a sequel to Nutshell, which arrived a little more than a month after his death. Phife Dawg's estate followed up the video with another single called "French Kiss Trois" featuring Redman and J Dilla's brother Illa J, further building anticipation for the long-awaited album.
HipHopDX spoke to Phife's mother Cheryl Boyce-Taylor and widow Deisha Head-Taylor in May 2019 about Phife's death at just 45.
“To be honest, it’s still hard,” Head-Taylor said at the time. “It’s still surreal, unreal, and I still have moments where I have emotional outbursts. The pain just never leaves. It’s a huge chunk of your heart that just … it feels like it’s gone, and it’s empty now. Sometimes I’ll look at pictures. I’ll go on his Instagram account. He stayed on Instagram [laughs].”
“I am the Phifer, right? Sometimes I’ll go to those, and I’ll look at those, and then I’ll start smiling. When I have certain moments, sometimes I’ll go to text messages of things he would send me. I just reminisce to get through the healing.”