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An Incomplete Treasury Of Great Phife Dawg Lyrics

Photo: Getty / Chris McKay
Photo: Getty / Chris McKay

Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor of A Tribe Called Quest died yesterday at the age of 45. And as someone who went to college in the 1990s, I am obligated by law to tell you that A Tribe Called Quest was by far my favorite hip hop group, and that their shit still holds up to this day. But there’s nothing I can say about the Five Foot Assassin—no personal remembrance, no dipshit thinkpiece—that the man couldn’t say better himself. So here now are some of his greatest couplets, starting with the undisputed champ:

** “Go get yourself some toilet paper ‘cause your lyrics is butt”

** “And to top it off, Starks got ejected”

** “Party animal I was, but now I chill at home / All I do is write rhymes, eat, drink, shit and bone”


** “I flip shit crazier than a busload full of Jerry’s Kids”

** “I float like gravity, never had a cavity / Got more rhymes than the Winans got family”


** “Believe that if you wanna but I tell you this much: Riding on the train with no dough, SUCKS”

** “She finally played me, but yo I’d find another / Cause I got the crazy game and yo I’m smooth like butter”

** “You looked in the mirror, didn’t know what to do / Yesterday your eyes were brown but today they are blue / Your whole appearance is a lie and it could never be true / And if you really loved yourself then you would try and be you”

** “You wanna be treated right, see Father MC / Or check Ralph Tresvant, for sens-a-tiv-i-ty”

** “MCs like to meddle, but here’s my proposition / I let my lyrics flow, and juxt your whole position”


** “Did not you know that my styles are top-dollar? / The Five-Foot Assassin knockin’ fleas off his collar / Hip-hop scholar since bein’ knee-high to a duck / The height of Mugsy Bogues, complexion of a hockey puck”

** “Yo I take it back, I’m the Indian giver / MCs take notes as I stand and deliver”


** “I have a quest to have the mic in my hand / Without that, it’s like Kryptonite and Superman / So Shaheed come in with the sugar cuts / Phife Dawg’s my name, but on stage call me Dyna-mutt”

** “The wackest crews try to dis, it makes me laugh / When my track record’s longer than a DC-20 aircraft”


** “Let me hit it from the back girl, I won’t catch a hernia / Bust off on your couch, now you got Seaman’s furniture”

** “Just come inside your jam and witness who is boss / And it won’t be Tony Danza nor Diana Ross”


** “Now here’s a funky introduction of how nice I am. / Tell your mother, tell your father, send a telegram.”

** “Hey yo Bo knows this and Bo knows that / But Bo don’t know jack / Cause Bo can’t rap”


** “Cuz where I come from quality is job one / And everybody up on Linden know we get the job done”

** “Quick is how I flip from the tip of the lip / Punchin out hits like Gladys Knight and the Pips”

Yep, he was the best.

Drew Magary is a Deadspin columnist and columnist for GEN magazine. You can buy Drew's second novel, The Hike, through here.

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