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A Tribe Called Quest

Brian Ach/Invision/AP

Following the tragic passing of Phife Dawg, A Tribe Called Quest has just released the following statement honoring the beloved band's co-founder.

"Our hearts are heavy. We are devastated. This is something we weren't prepared for although we all know that life is fleeting. It was no secret about his health and his fight. But the fight for his joy and happiness gave him everything he needed. The fight to keep his family happy, his soul happy and those around him happy, gave him complete and unadulterated joy…until he heeded his father's call."

The group's statement continued, "We love his family, his mother, his father, his son, his wife, his nieces, his family here in New York, Atlanta, California and Trinidad. Thank you for the outpouring of prayers and support from the fans, fellow artists, music outlets, blogs, radio stations, DJ's, social media and the music community at large. This too is part of his joy and means a lot to him. His family is overwhelmed by the support, well wishes and are thankful. His music and what he's contributed is seismic and hard to measure. He's affected us as much as he's affected all of you. We're inspired by his daily joy and courage. He wasn't in pain. He was happy. We take comfort in knowing he will be beside his grandmother."

The rapper, born Malik Taylor, passed away on Tuesday and his manager, Dion Liverpool, expressed his grief in the following heartfelt words:

"While I mourn the loss of my best friend and brother, I also will celebrate his incredible life and contribution to many people's ears across the world. Even with all his success, I have never met a person as humble as he."