Malik B., the rapper who has been a longtime member of Roots since their formative years, has died. The group confirmed the rapper’s death Rolling Stone, although no cause of death or other details were provided.
“It is with a heavy heart and teary eyes that we sadly inform you of the passage of our beloved brother and Root member Malik Abdul Basit,” said the Roots of Questlove and the Black thought in a statement. “He remembers his devotion to Islam, his brotherhood of love and his innovation as one of the most talented MCs of all time. We ask you to please respect his family and extended family in our time of mourning like a great loss. “
Black thought added on Instagram, “We made a name and engraved a lane together where there was nothing. We [resurrected] city from the ashes, put it on our backs and called it Illadelph. In the friendly competition with you from day one, I always felt as if I had only a simple fraction of your gift and true potential. Your steel recognized my steel as I saw you create cadences from the ether and bring them free into the universe to become a poetic law, making the English language your bitch. I always wanted to change, to somehow sophisticate your prospects and make you see that there were far more choices than the roads, only to realize that you and the roads were one … and there was no a way to separate a man from his true self. She is a beloved M-illitant. I can only hope you made me as proud as you did me. The world has simply lost a real one. God forgives you, forgives your sins and gives you the highest level of heaven. ”
Born Malik Basit in his native Root Philadelphia, the MC teamed up in the early 1990s with drummer Square Roots Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and a fellow MC Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, who became friends with Basit while both were students at Millersville At University.
After changing their name to Roots, the group released their album in 1993. Organix, which was followed by their departure with a major label, in 1995 Want More? !!! ??!, with Malik B. and Black Thought sharing the verses on almost every track.
Base also appeared on 1996 Illadelph Halflife and 1999 Things fall apart before leaving the Roots; On the Roots “Water” since 2002’s Phrenology, their first album without Basit, Black Thought details how he and Malik B. came together musically, as well as examining the drug issues that ultimately led to Basit’s release from the group. “Dumbin, just hugging the couple like a woman,” Black thinking on the right track. “You have to burnin both sides of the rope and just pull / tuggin ‘, between Islam and the straight thuggin.”
Although Malik B. took root at the turn of the millennium, the rapper continued to make a guest appearance on the group’s album, including the title track for 2006’s Game Theory u Rising Down“I Can’t Help It” and “Lost Desire” in 2008, his last two guest spots with Roots.
In the two decades following his departure from the Roots, Basit returned intermittently to music, first with his Street Assault mixtape in 2005 and his unpredictable 2015 collaboration with producer Mr . Green.
Philadelphia rapper Reef the Lost Cauze tweeted Wednesday, “Heart to heart to hear the passing of Malik B, one of the greatest MC’s ever to come out of this city. He had problems “Sure, but a man inspired a whole generation of us to touch the mic. I’m included. May he rest in peace.”