The Roots founding member Malik B. dies aged 47

Josh Dutton
·News Reporter
·2-min read

Malik B., one of the founding members of American hip hop group The Roots, has died aged 47.

The Roots confirmed “with heavy hearts” on their Instagram page rapper Malik B., also known as Malik Abdul Basit, had passed away.

It’s not clear what caused his death.

“May he be remembered for his devotion to Islam, his loving brotherhood and his innovation as one of the most gifted MCs of all time,” the group wrote.

“We ask that you please respect his family and extended family in our time of mourning such a great loss.”

Malik B. pictured in a 2012 music video with Mr Green.
Malik B. in a 2012 music video for Mr Green with Kevin Brown. Source: YouTube/ Noisey

Malik B.’s cousin Don Champion also paid tribute to the rapper on Twitter.

“Mourning my beloved cousin today,” he tweeted.

“He was so talented and had a huge heart. I still remember when he and The Roots were starting out. He'd give me and my dad their cassette tapes to listen to. I miss you already, Mailk.”

Questlove and Black Thought of The Roots perform in concert during day 3 of Cruilla Bcn Festival on July 14, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain.
The Roots members Questlove and Black Thought perform in concert at Barcelona in 2018. Source: Getty Images

Born in Philadelphia, Malik B. was one of the founding members of The Roots alongside Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter and Leonard "Hub" Hubbard.

Malki B. was on the group’s first four albums from 1987 until 1999 when he departed the group.

He returned as a feature artist for a number of their later albums.

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