Malik B, Founding Member of The Roots, Dies Aged 47

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Tragic news has reached us that Malik Abdul Basit, who performed under the name Malik B, has passed away. He was just forty-seven years old.

 

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The heartbreaking news was announced on Wednesday.

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The star rose to fame as the founding member of American hip hop band, The Roots.

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It all began when Malik befriended high school pals Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter,  who began performing as a group under the name Square Roots.

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They officially dropped “Square” from their hip-hop ensemble name, thus the band we know and love was born.

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Before releasing their debut album, Organix the following year.

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The Roots’ major-label debut album Do You Want More?!!!??! went down a treat with fans, but it was Malik and Black Thought’s raps that reigned supreme on the tracks.

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Malik recorded songs on 1996’s Illadelph Halflife and 1999’s Things Fall Apart, but made the decision to leave the band he co-founded in 1999.

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In fact, fellow member Black Thought penned an open letter to Malik on the track “Water,” detailing the rapper’s critical role in the group’s rise to fame.

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He still featured on some of their songs, including the likes of “Game Theory,” “In The Music” and “Here I Come” from 2006’s Game Theory.

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He lent his verses to tracks “Can’t Help It” and “Lost Desire” from the band’s 2008 album Rising Down. 

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His first solo work came in 2005 with the album Street Assault. 

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In total, Malik released 1 EP and 2 albums as part of his solo career.

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He was just forty-seven years old.

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“It is with heavy hearts and tearful eyes that we regretfully inform you of the passing of our beloved brother and long time Roots member Malik Abdul Baset,” the group wrote.

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“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.”

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His cousin remembered him as “so talented and had a huge heart.”

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Tributes have been highlighting the significance of his contribution to hip hop and his legacy.

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“Dude inspired a whole generation of us to touch the mic.”

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At the time of writing, his cause of death has not been announced.

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Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time. Keep on reading to learn about the tragic deaths that this year has brought upon us…

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