Phife Dawg – “Nutshell Part 2” (Feat. Busta Rhymes & Redman)
Back in 2016, the Queens rap legend Phife Dawg passed away of complications from diabetes at the age of 45. Near the end of his life, Phife recorded his parts for We Got It From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service, the triumphant final album from his group A Tribe Called Quest. That album came out months after Phife’s death, and it brought whole new waves of affection for everything that he’d done. Soon, we’ll hopefully get to hear more of what Phife was doing at the end of his life.
Before his death, Phife had also been working on a solo album. The single “Nutshell,” which used a loping beat from the late J Dilla, came out shortly after his passing. That album still hasn’t come out, but it’s still in the works, and now there’s a new version of “Nutshell” with two of Phife’s contemporaries.
The new single “Nutshell Part 2” goes the all-star remix route, bringing in fellow ’90s East Coast rap legends Busta Rhymes and Redman. Phife’s opening verse is still the same one from the first “Nutshell.” Busta, who usually sounds his best when he’s around his Tribe Called Quest friends, comes off especially hard: “Inhospitable, that’s one sick individual/ Untraceable DNA, nigga flow unforgivable.” And Redman remains a reliable cut-up: “Keep your friends close and enemies closer/ It’s rappers like me that’d piss off Oprah.” Listen below.
“Nutshell Part 2” is out now on Smokin’ Needles/AWAL.