Fallen A Tribe Called Quest member Phife Dawg’s long-awaited posthumous solo album will finally see its release this year, according to Rolling Stone. First announced in 2015, just months before his death at the age of 45 in March 2016, the album has seen numerous false starts and delays. Today, though, the first Forever single, “Nutshell Part 2” featuring Busta Rhymes and Redman, was announced. “Nutshell Part 2” is due for release this Friday, February 12. It’s a sequel to the J Dilla-produced “Nutshell” from April 2016. The album release date is still unknown.
Skeptical fans have a right to be wary of the release announcement; the album was originally set for release in 2017, although the group did follow up in November 2020 after three years of radio silence to announce that it would release this year. The group also celebrated what would have been Phife’s 50th birthday with the release of a limited edition “Phife Forever” T-shirt.
However, this is the first time an announcement has been accompanied by new music, which can only bode well for the album’s release plans. In a statement, Phife’s family shared their excitement for the upcoming release. “We are excited about the partnership with [indie distributor] AWAL for Malik’s posthumous album release. We give all glory to God for allowing Malik to accomplish everything his heart desired, including his solo music. He worked really hard to complete his album before he transitioned, and he was ready to share an album that was near and dear to his heart with his fans. His fans meant the world to him.”
Forever is due sometime in 2021 through Smokin’ Needles Records.