Malik B, a former and founding member of The Roots, has reportedly died.
Via Twitter, Don Champion, Malik’s cousin, confirmed the news Wednesday morning (July 29).
“Mourning my beloved cousin today,” he wrote. “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, Mailk. #RIP."
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, Mailk. #RIP ❤️ https://t.co/UMQeXJsWmf— Don Champion (@DonChampionTV) July 29, 2020
A cause of death isn’t publicly known as of Wednesday afternoon.
Born Malik Abdul Basit, the Philly native joined The Roots crew during the late 1980s alongside other co-founders Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter and appeared on the group’s first four albums, including 1993’s Organix, 1995’s Do You Want More?!!!??!, 1996’s Illadelph Halflife and Things Fall Apart from 1999.
While he left the group during the late 90s, Malik returned years later to appear on projects like Rising Down (2008) and released his own solo work, including 2006’s Psychological EP and studio albums Street Assault (2005) and Unpredictable with Mr. Green (2015)
Tributes have begun pouring in for Malik B. See what the Hip Hop world had to say below.
Rest in Peace to Malik B of The Roots. "Step into The Realm" from Things Fall Apart was always one of my favorite performances from him. pic.twitter.com/d6sOlKxapB— BLUEPRINT (@printmatic) July 29, 2020
RIP to a great MC, Malik B— Lateef (@TruthspeakerHQ) July 29, 2020
On the last @blackalicious_ tour myself, Gab & Jumbo did a leg in which I was driving.
I played my Malik B playlist & everyone was like “Daaaaamn”
His solo joints & the ones he was featured on make for really good listening
Rest in POWER King https://t.co/lZ7IcCLlup
Rest in Peace Malik B he was the roots to The Roots... ✌🏻 #ripmalikb— DJ JS-1 / JERMS (@DJJS1) July 29, 2020
R.I.P., Malik B., original member of the Roots. Such a great MC. https://t.co/eg52rvuqt1— Wax Poetics (@waxpoetics) July 29, 2020
rip to the great Malik B, this one hurts— Mr. Green (@greenhiphop) July 29, 2020
Heartbroken to hear of the passing of Malik B, one of the greatest MC's to ever come from this city. He had his troubles for sure, but dude inspired a whole generation of us to touch the mic. Myself included. May he rest peacefully.— Reef The Lost Cauze (@LostCauze) July 29, 2020