Words By (@TheKidSkoob)
Phife Dawg loved sports and sports loved him back. As hard as hip-hop fans have gone for the beloved Trini Gladiator since his passing, members of the sports media have paid amazing tributes to the late MC and sports commentator. And rightfully so.
The founding member of Tribe was very skilled in the art of wordplay and references to sports were an established part of his repertoire. Not to mention how he added his own style to the Native Tongues wardrobe with his various team jerseys and fitted caps. Phife’s love of sports was so extensive that we actually went through the entire ATCQ catalog, as well as Phife’s solo Lp Ventilation: Da LP, just to see how deep the 5-foot MC’s love for sports ran.
So here are 22 pro sports references from Queens finest, Phife Dawg.
Low End Theory
“Beepers goin’ off like Don Trump gets checks/Keep my bases loaded like the New York Mets” – SkyPager
This was Queens love, as Phife gives a shout to his home baseball team, who are set to defend their National league title. And being that this album dropped in 1991, it sounds like it was just in time to see Donald Trump’s rise from “humble beginnings.”
“Ayo Bo knows this, and Bo knows that, but Bo dunno jack, cuz Bo can’t rap/But whadda ya know, the dido is first up to bat, no batteries included and no strings attached” — Scenario
“Brothers front, and say the tribe can’t flow/But we’ve been known to do the impossible like Broadway Joe, so…” – Scenario
Phife Dawg lays claim to several iconic verses, with none bigger than the 16 bars he dropped on “Scenario.” This was at the height of Bo Jackson’s career as a professional football and baseball player. The “Bo Knows” references are courtesy of the Nike campaign, which featured Jackson mastering any and every sport there is.
And Broadway Joe was the nickname given to New York Jets legendary quarterback, Joe Namath. He predicted that the Jets would defeat the Baltimore Colts and win the 1968-69 Super Bowl, which they did.
“So relax and chill, sit your booty still/Or just take loss like the Buffalo Bills” – Let The Horns Blow (from Chi Ali’s 1992 debut The Fabulous Chi)
The Buffalo Bills were one of the best football teams in the early 90’s. However, they’re also historically one of the most mocked franchises, as they successfully reached four Super Bowls in a row, losing each contest.