Image via @ATCQ

Image via @ATCQ

Last night, legendary rapper and member of A Tribe Called Quest Phife Dawg tragically passed away. As fellow artists tributes to the 45-year-old continue to pour out, ATCQ have also officially released a statement regarding Phife’s passing.

“Our hearts are heavy. We are devastated,” the heartfelt statement begins. ATCQ go on to describe Phife’s lifelong fight for joy and happiness, also thanking the community for their prayers and support.

Read their statement in its entirety below.

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 fathers call.

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.

We ask that you respect our privacy at this time.