Roots Founding Member Malik B. Passes away, aged 47

Malik B., a founding member of legendary Philadelphia outfit The Roots has passed away. Born Malik Abdul Basit, he was a recognized member of the iconic hip hop band — which includes Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter — for their first four albums, with his last appearance as a member of the group on 1999’s Grammy-winning Things Fall Apart.

Malik went on to release a solo album in 2005 titled, Street Assault, and a subsequent album in 2015 titled Unpredictable, with record producer Mr. Green. After several years apart, Malik B. was featured on two additional Roots album, including three tracks on 2006’s Game Theory, as well as two tracks from their 2008 album Rising Down

The Roots, who currently serve as the house band for Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Show,” shared Malik B’s passing through a social media post that reads:

“We regretfully inform you of the passing of our beloved brother and longtime Roots member Malik Abdul Basit,” the group said on Twitter. “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.”

While the other Roots members shared their own respective social media posts. 

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📸 by @tdoteric A lighter tale of Malik Abdul Basit As a true Bol from philly you know that one’s oil game HAD to be on point. I came in this game rockin oils since age 9. Most of yall joke about me smelling like Breakfast (thx Kravitz clan) but long before my vanilla combo mastery my true graduation from basic Frankincense & Myrrh morphed into new exotic philly jawns like “Mecca Musk” & “Somali Rose” & “Egyptian Musk” & yeah…..”Money On the Street” & “Hug My Neck Aphrodisiac” Malik introduced me to that world. Even before Malik was in the Roots —-he was my oil guru. IYKYK…there is no panic like the last drop of oil w no re-up in the future. I been bugging Malik for my “$OTS” re-up. Paged him 911 (ask your parents kids) he was hard to catch but I knew I had some leverage bait this time: these were my last days interning at #RuffhouseRecords. I was everyone’s plug for all free cd’s/lp’s & especially Kriss Kross posters for anyone’s younger sibling or cousin Tim Dog’s sophomore Do or Die just came out (his “I Get Wrecked” single w KRS made brief noise for a sec) & I had 6 songs from the not yet released Cypress Hill “Black Sunday” lp——that was just enough to garner a “word? BET!” confirmation from Malik to tell me that him & Mussa (remember the cat dozing off watching TV in our “Distorion” vid? Him) would scoop me in a half hour. Confused I thought it was gonna be an even exchange (having paid him upfront weeks ago at a show I thought he was gonna drop it off——ha ha ha yeah ok They arrive to my west philly house and then Malik breaks the news to me: we gotta take a trip to “Norf” to get the oils. I wasn’t planning on this. But oh well. It was 3pm. Malik told me the particular fragrance I dug was a mixture of 3 import oils from Saudi Arabia (his parents often taught school there) my dad was already on his cynic “fool me once….” bag with Malik from a previous sale: “that boy tried to hustle me with Blue Nile that wasn’t all the way Blue, I know Johnson’s baby oil rebranded when I smell it”)——Malik told me we’d have to run to grab 2 oils & then West Oak Lane for the other oil, & then to South Philly so he can mix em together. Uh (checks Swatch) ok.

A post shared by Questlove Froman, (@questlove) on

The cause of death has yet to be released, Malik B. was 47 years old. 

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