At the time of his death last month, A Tribe Called Quest co-founder Malik “Phife Dawg” Taylor was working on a new solo album Muttymorphosis; he was also preparing to Give Thanks on an EP back in February, for which “Nutshell” would have served as a single. The song, which was teased earlier this year, has now been released by Apple Music with the consent of Taylor’s family. Here’s the full video for “Nutshell,” which opens with tributes from his hip-hop contemporaries, including Tribe’s Jarobi White.
“Nutshell” begins with an “um,” but it’s the last time the rapper is at a loss for words on the track. Over a beat by the late J Dilla, Taylor raps about what he isn’t—“unmerciful, undeniable”—summing himself up in part as someone who “initiated” future artists as “the uncanny, uncommon rhyme spitter.” The song is available for download on iTunes, with half of the proceeds going to American Diabetes Association and the National Kidney Foundation.