Watch A Tribe Called Quest, Kanye West, D’Angelo, André 3000, & More Pay Tribute To Phife Dawg In NYC

Watch A Tribe Called Quest, Kanye West, D’Angelo, André 3000, & More Pay Tribute To Phife Dawg In NYC

Last night, a week and a half after the passing of the beloved Tribe Called Quest member Phife Dawg, a number of musical luminaries gathered in Harlem’s Apollo Theater to pay tribute to the man and his legacy. Some of the fans who gathered at a Phife memorial at St. Albans Park in Queens the day before got tickets, and the event featured spoken-word and musical tributes from people like Kanye West, André 3000, D’Angelo, the Roots, KRS-One, and Phife’s fellow Tribe Called Quest members. The audience included people like Lauryn Hill, Dave Chappelle, and LL Cool J.

For his part, Kanye West gave an off-the-cuff speech, starting with his memories of being happy to go to detention because it meant he could listen to a Tribe tape on his Walkmen. He went onto dispute fellow speaker Peter Rosenberg, who had evidently compared Tribe’s records to those from bands like Led Zeppelin: “I don’t want to hear about Led Zeppelin tonight.” And he talked about how the work of Phife and his fellow rap pioneers had helped make the rap stardom of later icons possible. Here’s a fan-made video of that speech:

We haven’t seen any more longer videos like that, but there are Instagram clips of speeches from André 3000 and Tribe’s Q-Tip and Jarobi, as well as from D’Angelo’s performance of “You’ve Got A Friend,” KRS-One’s performance, and the Roots’ musical tribute. Watch those below.

WE LOVE YOU PHIFE. .. #tribecalledquest #ATCQ @iamthephifer @phifesportsnetwork

A video posted by @memewilliams on

Love my Brothers… All for u Phife. .We LOVE YOU A TRIBE CALLED QUEST

A video posted by @memewilliams on

Andre 3000 Tribute to Phife. . Apollo Theater

A video posted by @memewilliams on

Deangelo tribute to Phife.. Apollo Theater

A video posted by @memewilliams on

#krsone doing "Still Number One" at #phifedawg service….with The Awesome Two, Kid Capri, and Grandmaster Flash on stage

A video posted by Jeffrey Sledge (@iamjeffsledge) on

The Roots tribute to Phife.. Apollo Theater

A video posted by @memewilliams on

Also, Rolling Stone transcribed West’s comments. Here they are:

I might say something wrong as always, but I thought it’d be more wrong not to say nothing. When I see the power in this room…. Low End Theory was the first album I ever bought and I stayed in the suburbs of Chicago with my stepfather. I’d always get into trouble for listening to music during the week and then I would have to go to detention or study hall, but I enjoyed it ’cause I had that Tribe tape and it didn’t really matter how long that walk was.

I think about stories I hear about [Queen] Latifah when she was young; how she knew what she was gonna be in life. I look at the power in this room. I know [Hot 97 DJ Peter] Rosenberg said something about [Led] Zeppelin and you know me: I’m very sensitive about things like this [Crowd laughs]. But I don’t want to hear Zeppelin mentioned at Phife’s funeral.

One hundred years from now, we’re gonna all be with Phife and this country was built off our back. I live next to the dentist. I stay in a $20 million crib next to the dentist. Dave Chappelle, you know what I’m talking about. We had an event a year ago and I would just go over to Tip’s house like when they was doing Low End Theory and Pete Rock came down. And I be at these events in Hollywood and I be at these events here and I’m looking at how many more people inspire us and the walls that we have on our finances. Out in Hollywood, everybody got a mink coat and $500,000 car. And it’s the way the music industry was set up was that all the people that run the industry and sign everybody from out of Queens, the Bronx, southside of Chicago, Atlanta make sure that they get that crib.

I’m sorry, but that’s what was on my fuckin’ mind when I was sitting here thinking about how much these people inspire me and how powerful the influence of the music was and how it made that walk to study hall so short. How it meant everything. It is everything. Music was stolen from us and corporatized and anybody that spoke up was demonized. Anything I ever did wrong, blame Tip and Phife ’cause y’all raised me.

I don’t want to hear about Led Zeppelin tonight. Every time y’all started the rap, you give me one line of “Scenario,” I’ll do the whole joint all the way through. Y’all made it okay in a city of Al Capone — number one murder capital city — for me to be me. Tribe made Kanye West. Made the kid with the pink Polo. Made it so I could dress funny. I’m not sorry if I said something wrong.

[Consequence] know. He said honor and maybe there wasn’t no punch lines with it. Me and Cons were on the same thing, sitting at Baseline Studio. We ain’t never stopped; cameras on/off, we ain’t never stop. Honor. Honor that work. That influence. That ability to chop that sample. That ability to put that rap together. Honor that.

Maybe it ain’t no David Stern that figured out to turn everybody in rap to multi-millionaires the way they turn ballplayers to multi-millionaires. But they got to honor it. I’m picturing the Grammys right now, it’s going to be a real quick [tribute]. Short, like when the Michael Jackson joint was short. Or when you get to Michael Jackson status, somebody say, “Aw, you crazy ’cause you said the truth out loud.” You get in trouble for the truth.

Honor, man. They gotta honor us; honor what hip-hop is. It should not be surprising to you when the sports announcer [Scott Van Pelt] was influenced by Tribe. That should not be a surprise! That’s the absolute truth!

I love y’all and I’m not sorry. Rest in Peace to Phife Dawg.

Also, the full event seems to be streaming on a loop here:

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