The Roots Mourn Death Of Founding Member, Malik B

The Roots Lost Lake Festival 2017  - Day 2

“The world just lost a real one.”

Malik B, founding member of The Legendary Roots Crew, has died at the age of 47, the group confirmed on Wednesday (July 29). He was 47.

“We regretfully inform you of the passing of our beloved brother and long time Roots member Malik Abdul Basit,” read a statement posted to The Roots twitter account. “May he be remembered for his devotion to Islam and innovation as one of the most gifted MCs of all time.”

In closing, the statements asks that the public respect the family as they mourn his passing. Basit’s cause of death is unclear.

Basit’s cousin, Don Champion, paid tribute to him on Twitter writing in part, “Mourning my beloved cousin today. He was so talented and had a huge heart.”

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Born in Philly, Basit played an integral role in forming The Roots alongside Black Thought and Questlove. Although he departed the group after appearing on their first four albums, OrganixDo You Want More?!!!??!Illadelph Halflife, and Things Fall Apart, Basit returned to collaborate on their later work and was still a revered member of the crew.

Black Thought reminisced on how they “created a lane together where there was none” in a moving Instagram post. “We [resurrected] a city from the ashes, put it on our backs and called it Illadelph,” he wrote. “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 b*tch.

“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.”

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