UNITED STATES—Rapper, singer, and founding member of The Roots, Malik B, 47, has died, as announced on Wednesday, July 29. A cause of death has not been released to the public.
His death was confirmed by The Roots’ Questlove and Black Thought in a statement Wednesday via social media, that read:
”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 Baset. 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.”
Born Malik Abdul Basit, the late rapper, along with his two group mates, Questlove and Black Thought, founded The Roots and released their first debut album, “Organix” in 1993. The trio met while attending Millersville University in Pennsylvania in the early 90s.
The group performed live and went on tours endlessly, eventually leading to the release of their second album in 1995, “Do You Want More?!!!??!” One year later, the trio released “Illadelph Halflife,” which shot the group to the limelight and be better known by more fans.
Malik B left The Roots in 1999, but not before his last album with the trio, “Things Fall Apart,” which continues to be considered a big and successful album for the group. The album earned a Grammy for the song, “You Got Me” featuring Erykah Badu. It sold over 1 million copies in the U.S. He was featured on three songs on “Game Theory,” The Roots’ seventh album, which was released in 2006.