Malik Abdul Basit, a rapper, singer and founding member of The Roots, has died, according to a statement posted on the group's verified Twitter account.
Basit’s death was confirmed by The Roots’ Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter in a statement Wednesday, Rolling Stone reported. No cause of death was given.
After leaving the group, Basit produced solo material and also appeared on several Roots album tracks, CNNreported.
In a farewell statement on the group's Instagram feed, Black Thought stated... “We made a name and carved a lane together where there was none,” Black Thought wrote on Instagram. He continues;
“We (resurrected) 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.”
Malik Abdul Basit aka Malik B was 47.