The estate of late A Tribe Called Quest rapper Phife Dawg has continued the rollout for his first posthumous album, Forever, with a new single titled “French Kiss Deux”. Produced by Canadian duo Potatohead People, the boom bap track features Illa J, the brother of seminal producer J Dilla.
Over a funky bassline and warm brass, the two rapper trade playful bars about the women of Montreal. “I’m thinking to myself, who the hell is she?” Phife raps on the second verse. “True looking like ow, body’s like blaw/ Even her chubby pal had a face like wow.”
Although “French Kiss Deux” has been released posthumously, Phife and Illa J connected over the phone while the ATCQ founder was still alive. “I really wish he was here to celebrate the release of this song. But I know he’s here in spirit, and I’ll never forget him spittin’ his verse over the phone to me,” Illa J told HipHopDX. “That will always will be a special moment.”
In 2016, Phife passed away at the age of 45 due to diabetes-related complications. Prior to his death, however, he was able to contribute to Tribe’s 2016 LP, We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service, one of the best albums of the past decade.
Phife also worked diligently to complete Forever before his death. “He was ready to share an album that was near and dear to his heart with his fans,” the Queens rapper’s family shared in a statement. “His fans meant the world to him.”
“French Kiss Deux” is the second preview of Forever, which will be released later this year through Smokin’ Needles Records in partnership with AWAL. In February, we heard the lead single, “Nutshell Pt. 2”, featuring Busta Rhymes and Redman.