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