A Tribe Called Quest member and former “Love & Hip Hop” rap star Consequence has exclusively revealed to AllHipHop that he is battling two deadly diseases: Type 1 diabetes and lupus.
The double dose of autoimmune diseases has not only complicated the life of the Queens emcee. They have also taken the lives of two icons directly in his Hip-Hop lineage: producer J. Dilla and fellow Tribe member Phife Dawg.
“I have what winded up taking the lives of J. Dilla and Phife as a combo,” the gifted songwriter told AllHipHop.com. “For people that don’t understand in its context, the irony of it is because those are both people I started my career with.”
J. Dilla died from Lupus in February of 2006 at age 32, while Phife died at age 45 from complications related to diabetes
“To be this sick late in life, and those are the things that took those gentlemen from us, it’s a lot to take in. But I’ve always been a fighter,” Consequence told AllHipHop.com.
He has been a fighter. Growing up in Queens in the shadow of his famous cousin, Q-Tip could not have been easy. When Consequence debuted on the 1996 Tribe album, Beats, Rhymes, and Life, some folk floated that his relationship to one of the hottest rappers in the game was the only reason he got on.
They were wrong.
As constant comparisons to the Abstract grew, carrying the blessing and burden of being associated with one of Hip-Hop’s greatest groups made it difficult for many to view him as a solo artist.
But Consequence flourished after he secured a record deal with Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. in 2007. His debut Don’t Quit Your Day Job! showed the world that he was a force to be reckoned with. As a ghostwriter, emcee, and all-around creative, he has risen to heights that he could have never imagined.
Despite his current illness, which he said was like having “two pistols pointed at his head,” Consequence has been blessed and he knows it.
“This wasn’t even something I thought I was gonna be able to get up from, to be honest,” Consequence told AllHipHop.com. “It got to a point where I was 105 pounds, and even at my son’s birthday party, August, I was like, about 113 114, somewhere in that neighborhood…but I’m blessed. I’m in the 130-140 range.”
Cons has made many sacrifices and personal changes in his life, in addition to dealing with the mandatory COVID-19 precautions that many in America have been asked to make.
And while these changes have come at a neck-breaking speed, Consequence is taking what the medical professionals say to heart. He also understands that mental wellness is key to conquering the demons that come with being so sick.
“I’ve had to make some dramatic, drastic changes upkeep wise as far as diet is concerned. I’ve stopped eating red meat,” Consequence told AllHipHop.com. “I’m still attempting to rid myself of the fried chicken monster. You got to make choices, you know. I’m not trying to torture myself, but I have to be cognizant of the repercussions of indulging in certain foods.”
Additional reporting by Chuck “Jigsaw” Creekmur