Malik B., Founding Member of The Roots, Dead at 47

Black Thought has shared an emotional tribute on Instagram.

It’s a very sad day across the hip-hop nation: Malik Abdul Baset, known to music fans around the world as Malik B., a founding member of The Roots, has died. The rapper was just forty-seven years old.

“We regretfully inform you of the passing of our beloved brother and long time Roots member Malik Abdul Basit,” The Roots shared on Twitter. “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.” A cause of death has not been revealed.

Black Thought, who rapped alongside Malik B. on The Roots’ first four studio albums—1993’s Organix, 1995’s Do You Want More?!!!??!, 1996’s Illadelph Halflife,and 1999’s Things Fall Apart—shared a personal tribute to his fallen brother on Instagram.

“We made a name and carved a lane together where there was none,” Black Thought wrote. “We ressurected (sic) a city from the ashes, put it on our backs and called it Illadelph. In friendly competition with you from day one, I always felt as if I possessed only a mere fraction of your true gift and potential. Your steel sharpened my steel as I watched you create cadences from the ether and set them free into the universe to become poetic law, making the English language your bitch.” See the full post below.

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We made a name and carved a lane together where there was none. We ressurected a city from the ashes, put it on our backs and called it Illadelph. In friendly competition with you from day one, I always felt as if I possessed only a mere fraction of your true gift and potential. Your steel sharpened my steel as I watched you create cadences from the ether and set them free into the universe to become poetic law, making the English language your bitch. I always wanted to change you, to somehow sophisticate your outlook and make you see that there were far more options than the streets, only to realize that you and the streets were one… and there was no way to separate a man from his true self. My beloved brother M-illitant. I can only hope to have made you as proud as you made me. The world just lost a real one. May Allah pardon you, forgive your sins and grant you the highest level of paradise. #MalikB #TheLegendaryRootsCrew

A post shared by Black Thought (@blackthought) on

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