Hip-hop artist Phife Dawg, a member of New York-based group A Tribe Called Quest, has died at the age of 45, Rolling Stone and Billboard reported on Wednesday.
No cause of death was given for the musician, whose real name was Malik Taylor, but he had suffered from diabetes for many years. A band member said in 2008 that he had undergone a kidney transplant.
Billboard and Rolling Stone said the rapper died on Tuesday.
The hip-hop community on Wednesday mourned Phife Dawg's passing on social media, paying tribute to his influence in the 1990s when A Tribe Called Quest released albums such as "The Low End Theory" and "Midnight Marauders." Phife Dawg released a solo album in 2000.
"Phife-HipHop & Rap word Warrior, simple as that, tweeted Public Enemy's Chuck D. "Breathed it & lined rhyme into Sport.A true fire Social Narrator my bro."
Tributes also came from comedian Chris Rock, music producer Russell Simmons, and drummer and producer Questlove of the Roots.
A Tribe Called Quest released its last studio album in 1998 and a representative for the group did not immediately return calls on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant)