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Founding Member of The Roots, Malik B. Has Passed Away

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Malik B., the rapper, singer, and founding member of The Roots has passed away, as confirmed by the group’s official social accounts. Bandmates Black Thought and Questlove have also shared touching tributes on social media.

“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,” the band’s 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 such a great loss.”

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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.

A post shared by The Roots (@theroots) on Jul 29, 2020 at 12:04pm PDT

Details surrounding Malik B.’s passing are unclear and the cause of death has yet to be revealed.

Malik Abdul Basit was part of the Philadelphia-based group from its early beginnings circa 1987. Alongside Questlove, Black Thought, and Leonard “Hub” Hubbard, Malik B. appeared in four albums: Organix (1993), Do You Want More?!!!??! (1995), Illadelph Halflife (1996), and Things Fall Apart (1999).

In 1999, Basit departed amid group tensions detailed in the song “Water” from The Roots album Phrenology, which talks about his struggles with addiction.

Today Black Thought and Quest Love honored the memory of their friend Malik B. in solemn tribute posts.

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We made a name and carved a lane together where there was none. We ressurected a city from the ashes, put it on our backs and called it Illadelph. In friendly competition with you from day one, I always felt as if I possessed only a mere fraction of your true gift and potential. 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 bitch. 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. #MalikB #TheLegendaryRootsCrew

A post shared by Black Thought (@blackthought) on Jul 29, 2020 at 12:10pm PDT

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📸 by @tdoteric A lighter tale of Malik Abdul Basit As a true Bol from philly you know that one’s oil game HAD to be on point. I came in this game rockin oils since age 9. Most of yall joke about me smelling like Breakfast (thx Kravitz clan) but long before my vanilla combo mastery my true graduation from basic Frankincense & Myrrh morphed into new exotic philly jawns like “Mecca Musk” & “Somali Rose” & “Egyptian Musk” & yeah…..”Money On the Street” & “Hug My Neck Aphrodisiac” Malik introduced me to that world. Even before Malik was in the Roots —-he was my oil guru. IYKYK…there is no panic like the last drop of oil w no re-up in the future. I been bugging Malik for my “$OTS” re-up. Paged him 911 (ask your parents kids) he was hard to catch but I knew I had some leverage bait this time: these were my last days interning at #RuffhouseRecords. I was everyone’s plug for all free cd’s/lp’s & especially Kriss Kross posters for anyone’s younger sibling or cousin Tim Dog’s sophomore Do or Die just came out (his “I Get Wrecked” single w KRS made brief noise for a sec) & I had 6 songs from the not yet released Cypress Hill “Black Sunday” lp——that was just enough to garner a “word? BET!” confirmation from Malik to tell me that him & Mussa (remember the cat dozing off watching TV in our “Distorion” vid? Him) would scoop me in a half hour. Confused I thought it was gonna be an even exchange (having paid him upfront weeks ago at a show I thought he was gonna drop it off——ha ha ha yeah ok They arrive to my west philly house and then Malik breaks the news to me: we gotta take a trip to “Norf” to get the oils. I wasn’t planning on this. But oh well. It was 3pm. Malik told me the particular fragrance I dug was a mixture of 3 import oils from Saudi Arabia (his parents often taught school there) my dad was already on his cynic “fool me once….” bag with Malik from a previous sale: “that boy tried to hustle me with Blue Nile that wasn’t all the way Blue, I know Johnson’s baby oil rebranded when I smell it”)——Malik told me we’d have to run to grab 2 oils & then West Oak Lane for the other oil, & then to South Philly so he can mix em together. Uh (checks Swatch) ok.

A post shared by Questlove Froman, (@questlove) on Jul 29, 2020 at 6:47pm PDT



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