Malik B., a founding member of groundbreaking hip-hop band the Roots, has died at 47 years old, the band confirmed. “We regretfully inform you of the passing of our beloved brother and longtime Roots member Malik Abdul Baset,” the Roots tweeted. “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.” Born Malik Abdul Baset, the Philadelphia rapper began performing with Black Thought and Questlove in Philadelphia in 1987, performing on the Roots’ 1993 debut Organix, along with subsequent releases Do You Want More?!!!??!, Illadelph Halflife, and Things Fall Apart. He left the group shortly after Things Fall Apart, their commercial breakthrough, but contributed a few verses to subsequent projects. On his own, he released the album Street Assault in 2005 and Unpredictable, a collaboration with Mr. Green, in 2015. A cause of death has not been revealed.
Malik B. Photo: Noisey/YouTube