Malik B., a founding member of The Roots, has died at the age of 47. The group confirmed the news on Instagram on Wednesday, July 29.
“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 Basit,” band members Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter said in a statement. “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.”
“We ask that you please respect his family and extended family in our time of mourning such a great loss,” the message concluded.
Basit, who performed under the name Malik B., was a founding member of the the Philadelphia-based group. The band released their debut album Organix in 1993, which was followed by their breakout major label debut, 1995’s Do You Want More?!!!??!. He appeared on four albums before departing the group in 1999.
He released two solo studio albums named Street Assault and Unpredictable and also featured as a special guest in on The Root’s 2006 album Game Theory and Rising Down in 2008.
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