Malik B, Founding Member Of The Roots, Dies At 47 – Philadelphia rapper Malik B, a founding member of The Roots, has died at the age of 47.
Malik B, Founding Member Of The Roots, Dies At 47 | Cause Of Death:
Malik B., real name Malik Abdul Basit, an early member of The Roots who performed on the group’s first four albums, has died.
His death was first revealed on Wednesday by his cousin Don Champion on Twitter. Malik B.’s cause of death has not been made public.
The Roots later confirmed the tragic news of Malik B’s passing in a statement posted on Twitter.
“We regretfully inform you of the passing of our beloved brother and long time Roots member Malik Abdul Baset,” the Roots wrote in a statement via 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.”
Malik B., a native of Philadelphia, left The Roots in 1999. Malik B. had performed on the band’s first four albums. He would return to the group as a session rapper. Malik B. appeared on the band’s 2006 album Game Theory on three songs and on the 2008 album Rising Down, on the songs “I Can’t Help It” and “Lost Desire.”
Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter said in a statement via Variety, “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. 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.”
Early Roots Member Malik B. Dead:
Born Malik Abdul Basit in Philadelphia in 1972, Malik B was added to The Roots ahead of the release of their 1993 debut Organix.
Malik B. was a key contributor to the Roots’ first four albums — 1993’s Organix, 1994’s Do You Want More?!!!??!, 1996’s Illadelph Halflife, and 1999’s Things Fall Apart — before departing the lineup in 1999. Things Fall Apart was their first to sell over a half-million copies and earned them two Grammy nods, including one victory, at the 2000 ceremony.
Malik B left The Roots in 1999.
Malik B.’s reason for leaving The Roots has not been confirmed. According to the Genius.com page for The Roots song “Water,” the track makes reference to Malik B. leaving the group. The description of the song reads in part, ““Water” is basically an open letter from Black Thought to Malik B.” The description goes on to say that it was an attempt to explain how “such a talented guy could get caught up in the drug temptations of South Philly.” In the song, Malik B. is referred to by the nickname “Slacks.”
Writer Aaron Ellis listed four possible reason for the rapper’s departure. They were, “Creative differences,” “Touring,” “Drug abuse” and “Legal Issues.” Ellis said that Malik B. was jailed in 2000 for forgery and was returned to prison due to a parole violation “shortly after his release.” Ellis also wrote that Malik B. became homesick after The Roots attained international stardom and preferred to stay closer to home.
Malik B. later contributed guest spots on 2006’s Game Theory and 2008’s Rising Down. After his lengthy stint with the storied jazz-infused hip-hop collective, he embarked on a solo career.
Malik B. then released one independently released solo album “Street Assault,” in 2005, and an EP called “Psychological” in 2006 (both on the F.D.M.E. label), and appeared on fellow Roots alum Dice Raw’s “Reclaiming the Dead” album, 2004’s “Graymatter” from Maylay Sparks and a collaborative album with Mr. Green, “Unpredictable” in 2015.
The hip-hop community, from Philly and beyond, mourned the death of one of the genre’s greats on Wednesday.
Malik B.’s collaborator Mr. Green tweeted on July 29, “rip to the great Malik B, this one hurts.” Malik B. and Mr. Green collaborated on the 2015 album, Unpredictable.
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