Malik B., founding member of The Roots, has died.
The rapper, real name Malik Abdul Baset, has died aged 47. The band announced the news on Wednesday (29th July) via their Instagram and Twitter accounts.
“We regretfully inform you of the passing of our beloved brother and long time Roots member Malik Abdul Basit,” the group wrote. “May he be remembered for his devotion to Islam and innovation as one of the most gifted MCs of all time. We ask that you please respect his family in our time of mourning.”
Philadelphia-born Baset joined original members Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter to become hip-hop group The Roots before the release of their first album, ‘Organix’, in 1993.
Baset remained with The Roots until 1999, before leaving to focus on his solo career. He made a return for the group’s seventh studio album, ‘Game Theory’, released in 2006.
Tributes for Malik B. have poured in from the hip-hop community and beyond following the announcement.
Thank you Malik B pic.twitter.com/CXe26RljUF
— AFROPUNK (@afropunk) July 29, 2020
Rest in Peace to Malik B of The Roots. “Step into The Realm” from Things Fall Apart was always one of my favorite performances from him. pic.twitter.com/d6sOlKxapB
— BLUEPRINT (@printmatic) July 29, 2020
RIP Malik B.
Black Thought always received the most love, but Malik offered a Phife-caliber counterweight on those first few Roots albums. Bringing staccato fury and militance. A perfect balance and why fans listened from Michigan to Switzerland. https://t.co/xtIv3HLtuC
— Otto Von Biz Markie (@Passionweiss) July 29, 2020
Heartbroken to hear of the passing of Malik B, one of the greatest MC’s to ever come from this city. He had his troubles for sure, but dude inspired a whole generation of us to touch the mic. Myself included. May he rest peacefully.
— Reef The Lost Cauze (@LostCauze) July 29, 2020