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Mac Miller honors Phife Dawg on new tribute song

Hear ‘5 Foot Assassin’ now.

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Scott Legato/Getty Images; Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images

Phife Dawg, one of the founding members of hip-hop group Tribe Called Quest, died Wednesday at the age of 45. The Internet flooded with tributes following the news, and rapper Mac Miller chimed in with a new song to honor the artist.

Released under Miller’s production moniker Larry Fisherman, the track borrows title from Dawg’s early nickname “5 Foot Assassin,” melding Dawg’s verses from Beats, Rhymes and Life‘s “1nce Again” and an Arsenio Hall freestyle atop a crackling, melancholy beat.

Miller shared the song via Twitter after a string of mournful tweets. “NOOO. NOT PHIFE,” he wrote early Wednesday morning, later adding “Drinking a Dr. Pepper for u…I don’t even know what to do right now. This is crazy.”

Miller has long counted Tribe among his influences, and even has a tattoo with the title of their 1996 fourth studio album, Beats, Rhymes and Life. Listen to “5 Foot Assassin” and read Miller’s tweets below.