Rapper Malik B, one of the three long-time members of the popular hip-hop band The Roots, passed away at the age of 47 due to undisclosed causes.
Malik Basit, also known as Malik B, joined The Roots shortly after the band was founded by rapper Black Thought and drummer Questlove back in the late 1980s.
Besides the founders, Malik was the only long-term member of the band that kicked off with performances in Philadelphia and New York City.
Eventually, the band moved to London, UK, where they rose to fame after releasing their first album called Organix.
In 2002, following several more albums, Malik decided to depart from the band. Nevertheless, he still appeared on three of their tracks in the following years.
In 2005 and 2006, Malik’s solo career peaked as he released two albums – Street Assault and Psychological EP.
His other renowned works included the Unpredictable, a 2015 collaborative album the rapper made together with producer and DJ Mr. Green.
Malik’s death was announced by The Roots in an Instagram post on Wednesday.
“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 wrote.
“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.”
Paying respects to the music legend and confirming the rapper’s death was also Malik’s cousin, Don Champion, who tweeted:
“Mourning my beloved cousin today. He was so talented and had a huge heart. I still remember when he and The Roots were starting out. He’d give me and my dad their cassette tapes to listen to. I miss you already, Malik.”