Malik B., an early member of The Roots, has died at age 47 of undisclosed causes. Black Thought and Questlove released a statement about Malik’s passing and contribution to hip-hop.Malik Abdul Basit met Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter in the early ’90s. He joined The Roots and stayed with the band on their journey from Organix in 1993 and he stayed until Things Fall Apart. He would return and make guest appearances on the albums Game Theory and Rising Down. As a solo artist, he released two albums and an EP. Black Thought made reference to Malik B. leaving the group on the song “Water (The First Movement)” and revealing that his drug use and lack of touring was the cause.
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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