The Roots Offer Touching Tribute To Late Group Member Malik B.

Philly Hip-Hop band The Roots are in mourning after the unexpected death of founding group member, Malik B.

(AllHipHop News) Hip-Hop stars The Roots have paid tribute to former bandmate Malik B. following his death at the age of 47.

The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-born rapper was a co-founder of the group, alongside drummer Questlove and MC Black Thought, and appeared on The Roots’ first four albums, including their breakthrough project, 1999’s Things Fall Apart.

He departed the band shortly after the album’s release.

A cause of death has yet to be revealed, but Questlove and Black Thought have paid tribute in a statement issued to Rolling Stone.

“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 Basit,” they share.

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“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. We ask that you please respect his family and extended family in our time of mourning such a great loss.”

Black Thought also took to Instagram to add some more personal memories, revealing they had been “in friendly competition” with one another “from day one”.

“I always felt as if I possessed only a mere fraction of your true gift and potential,” he wrote. “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 b##ch.

“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.”