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

Sad news hits the world of hip hop as Malik B., rapper and founding member of The Roots has died. He was just 47 years old. No cause of death has been announced.

 Photo Credit: ABC Philadelphia

Malik’s death was announced on The Roots Instagram yesterday. "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. 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 statement read. "We ask that you please respect his family and extended family in our time of mourning such a great loss."

 

Malik Abdul Basit was born in Philadelphia, PA. He and high school buddies Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter began performing together under the name Square Roots in 1987 when they were attending Millersville University in Lancaster. They dropped ‘Square’ from their name right around 1992, the same time they moved to London and released their debut album “Organix”.

 

The band really broke though after they were signed to DGC/Geffen. Via the label, they released ‘Do You Want More!!!??!’ in 1995, ‘Illadelph Halflife’ in 1996 and ‘Things Fall Apart’ in 1999. Malik decided to leave the band in 2000.

 

Even after Malik left the band, he would be an integral part of their music. Black Thought was clearly inspired by him on the 2002 Phrenology LP, the first album to be released after his departure. Songs like “Water” reflected on the integral role the rapper had on the band and their rise to fame. It also touched on how Malik left the band due to drug temptations in the neighborhood.

 

Malik’s legacy continued on throughout The Roots’ career. He was featured on tracks like “Game Theory”, “In the Music” and “Here I Come” which appeared on their 2006 “ Game Theory LP as well as “I Can’t Help It” and “Lost Desire” from their 2008 Rising Dawn LP. This would mark the last time the rapper collaborated with the band. They thanked him in the liner notes with the simple statement, “Welcome home.”

 

Many people are remembering Malik in light of his passing. He cousin, Don Champion broke the news of his death on Twitter. In doing so, he shared performance footage of Malik at NYC’s Electric Bowery stating "Mourning my beloved cousin today. 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. #RIP."

 

Black Thought also posted the following message on his own Instagram account. "We made a name and carved a lane together where there was none. We resurrected 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 bi---. 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."

RIP Malik Abdul Basit.

Sad news hits the world of hip hop as Malik B., rapper and founding member of The Roots has died. He was just 47 years old. No cause of death has been announced.

 

Malik’s death was announced on The Roots Instagram yesterday. "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. 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 statement read. "We ask that you please respect his family and extended family in our time of mourning such a great loss."

 

Malik Abdul Basit was born in Philadelphia, PA. He and high school buddies Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter began performing together under the name Square Roots in 1987 when they were attending Millersville University in Lancaster. They dropped ‘Square’ from their name right around 1992, the same time they moved to London and released their debut album “Organix”.

 

The band really broke though after they were signed to DGC/Geffen. Via the label, they released ‘Do You Want More!!!??!’ in 1995, ‘Illadelph Halflife’ in 1996 and ‘Things Fall Apart’ in 1999. Malik decided to leave the band in 2000.

 

Even after Malik left the band, he would be an integral part of their music. Black Thought was clearly inspired by him on the 2002 Phrenology LP, the first album to be released after his departure. Songs like “Water” reflected on the integral role the rapper had on the band and their rise to fame. It also touched on how Malik left the band due to drug temptations in the neighborhood.

 

Malik’s legacy continued on throughout The Roots’ career. He was featured on tracks like “Game Theory”, “In the Music” and “Here I Come” which appeared on their 2006 “ Game Theory LP as well as “I Can’t Help It” and “Lost Desire” from their 2008 Rising Dawn LP. This would mark the last time the rapper collaborated with the band. They thanked him in the liner notes with the simple statement, “Welcome home.”

 

Many people are remembering Malik in light of his passing. He cousin, Don Champion broke the news of his death on Twitter. In doing so, he shared performance footage of Malik at NYC’s Electric Bowery stating "Mourning my beloved cousin today. 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. #RIP."

 

Black Thought also posted the following message on his own Instagram account. "We made a name and carved a lane together where there was none. We resurrected 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 bi---. 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."

RIP Malik Abdul Basit.

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