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Malik B., Founding Member Of The Roots And Grammy Winner, Dead At 47

Malik B | Image: mpozitolbertphotography

Malik Abdul Basit who is better known as Malik B., a rapper, singer and founding member of American hip hop band, The Roots, died Wednesday. He was 47.

The Roots announced Basit’s death in a statement on the group’s verified Twitter account but did not provide a cause of death.


“We regretfully inform you of the passing of our beloved brother and long time Roots member Malik Abdul Basit,” the statement read.
“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.”

Malik B (left), the rapper who was a co-founding member of the Roots and appeared on their first four LPs, has died at the age of 47.<br /> T. Eric Monroe/@tdoteric

Basit, who performed under the name Malik B., was part of the Philadelphia-based group from its early beginnings to about 1999. Basit appeared on the first four albums released by The Roots — Organix (1993), Do You Want More?!!!??! (1995), Illadelph Halflife (1996) and gold disc Things Fall Apart (1999). He performed for years alongside current band members and co-founders Questlove and Black Thought before departing the group to pursue a solo career.

He later returned as a feature artist on The Roots’ seventh studio album, 2006’s Game Theory, performing on three tracks, including the title track, “In the Music” and “Here I Come.” He also was featured on two of the tracks on The Roots’ 2008 album Rising Down, “I Can’t Help It” and “Lost Desire”.

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Malik B.The Roots
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