Malik Taylor, aka Phife Dawg from the legendary hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest, has died.
As Rolling Stone reports, Taylor had had health issues for years, undergoing a kidney transplant in 2008 to deal with a longtime battle with diabetes. “It’s really a sickness,” Taylor said in Beats, Rhymes & Life, Michael Rapaport’s candid 2011 documentary on the group. “Like straight-up drugs. I’m just addicted to sugar.”
According to the CDC, Diabetes is the condition in which the body does not properly process food for use as energy. Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose, or sugar, for our bodies to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of our bodies. When you have diabetes, your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or can’t use its own insulin as well as it should. This causes sugars to build up in your blood. This is why many people refer to diabetes as “sugar.” Diabetes can cause serious health complications including heart disease, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-extremity amputations. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
African-Americans are almost twice as likely to develop diabetes as whites.
The prevalence of diabetes has quadrupled in our community in the past 30 years.
Read more from Rolling Stone about the Phife Dawg and what he had to say about his health and future recording plans, last November.