Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest talked to Okayplayer about his struggles with diabetes in a recent interview. Your man Phife Diggy had something to say about the disease.
I became diabetic in May of 1990. It’s hereditary. My moms is diabetic but even growing up seeing her having to take insulin shots and things of that nature, I didn’t take heed because I was still waking up to a glass of Quik, you know what I’m saying? Oreo cookies for breakfast, just stupid shit. It didn’t make it any better that we were on the road performing, eating KFC, McDonalds, shit like that and I was going hard when we was younger. I found out I was diabetic the month after the first album came out, so I thought my career was gonna be derailed from then, but I stayed with it. I stayed touring. We did Low End. We did Midnight, Beats, Rhymes, The Love Movement, all of that but I wasn’t always taking care of myself and it finally caught up to me when we broke up.
After we broke up, that’s when everything started to come into play in a negative fashion. I had a bump on the back of my neck and I just thought, you know, it was a regular bump. I went to get it checked because I wanted to make sure it wasn’t cancerous or anything like that. That’s when they [doctors] told me my kidneys was bad due to diabetes. This was like October ‘99. They told me I probably need to start dialysis in like a month or two. I was shook but I didn’t end up starting dialysis until May 2004.
It was all over the place. Wendy Williams talking shit. Other people. My father, my brother, and my moms, they still in New York. They listen to the radio and so they was calling me telling me what was being said. I didn’t really sweat it because I can’t really knock them for what they don’t know. Wendy’s been doing that for years so I didn’t really sweat it like that.