Published: 23:03 BST, 29 July 2020 | Updated: 00:43 BST, 30 July 2020
The rapper Malik B, a longtime member of the pioneering hip hop group The Roots, has died at age 47.
The band announced his death Wednesday on Instagram in a post featuring a photo of Malik with the The Roots’ co-founders Black Thought and Questlove.
‘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,’ said their post.
Saying goodbye: Malik B (left), an early member of the pioneering hip hop group The Roots, died Wednesday at age 47. The Roots shared a tribute to him on Instagram
‘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.’
‘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, Malik ❤️,’ he tweeted.
Remembrance: ‘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 Roots said of Malik, who was an early member
Early start: Malik (full name: Malik Basit) joined the group shortly after drummer Questlove and fellow rapper Black Thought founded it in Philadelphia in the late ’80s; shown in 2012
Influential verses: He rapped on the groups first four albums, including 1999’s acclaimed Things Fall Apart, before departing during 2002’s Phrenology. He delivered guest versus on two later albums; shown in 2012
Malik (full name: Malik Basit) hailed from Philadelphia and joined The Roots shortly after his fellow rapper Black Thought and the drummer Questlove founded the group in the late 1980s, and he was the only other permanent member besides the founders for the next few years.
After failing to attract much attention in Philadelphia, the band relocated to London, where they released their first album and built up an underground following thanks to extensive touring throughout Europe.
Malik was integral to The Roots’ first four albums, including Organix (1993), Do You Want More?!!!??! (1995), Illadelph Halflife (1996) and the band’s most acclaimed work, 1999’s Things Fall Apart.
He departed the group during the recording of their 2002 album Phrenology, which featured a song called Water in which Black Thought rapped about their relationship in the band.
Talking back: Phrenology featured the song Water, in which Black Thought rapped about his relationship with Malik; Black Thought (center) with The Roots
Unexplained departure: Malik claimed he wasn’t fired and hadn’t quit the band in a 2015 interview, though The Roots never clarified how or why he left the group; shown in 2012
In a 2015 interview with Arena, Malik claimed that he was never fired from the group but also didn’t quit, and members of The Roots didn’t address the specifics of his departure.
Despite no longer being a full member, the rapper appeared on three tracks on 2006’s Game Theory and two tracks on 2010’s Rising Down.
Malik’s solo career was less prolific than his work with The Roots, and he released the solo album Street Assault in 2005, followed by his Psychological EP in 2006.
His only other full-length effort was the 2015 collaborative album Unpredictable, made with the DJ and producer Mr. Green.
The rapper released a solo LP, Street Assault, in 2005, followed by the Psychological EP (2006). He also recorded the collaborative LP unpredictable with DJ Mr. Green
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The Roots, Malik B., Hip hop music, Black Thought
World news – GB – Rapper Malik B ofhip hop group The Roots, dies at age 47