A Tribe Called Quest co-founder Phife Dawg, real name Malik Isaac Taylor, died March 22 from complications due to diabetes. Tributes poured in over social media, but it wasn’t just hip hop stars remembering the late rapper. Atlanta reporter Mark Arum of WSB-TV 2 honored Taylor with a most unusual traffic report.
Arum was broadcasting from the studio, while his colleague Mark McKay was out with Traffic Tracker 2. Highlights of the tribute include:
“More hits than the Braves or the Yankees … “Mark McKay, my man, going each and every place with Traffic Tracker 2 in his hand … are things ludicrously speedy or infectious with the slow-mo?” — “Award Tour”
“Mark McKay’s track record’s longer than a DC-20 aircraft … Mark McKay do that, do that, do do that that that.” — “Award Tour”
“Tell your mother, tell your father, send a telegram.” — “Check the Rhime”
“One for the treble, two for the bass, you know the style, Mark McKay. Time to flip this.” — “Oh My God”
“We never thought we’d be able to have this kind of platform to talk about somebody we just loved as an artist,” says co-anchor Fred Blankenship of the tribute, who also dropped his own Phife Dawg reference in the broadcast.
“Usually Fred and I will work in hip hop references here and there, but I made the decision right then and there, ‘Let’s pay tribute to Phife on the show today, let’s go all out.'” adds Arum.
It’s not the first time Channel 2 has honored a late celebrity. In 2014, Zach Klein dropped 20 Robin Williams references in a sports report after the comedian’s death.