US rapper Malik B, longtime member of The Roots, has died aged 47.
The band announced the news on Wednesday, July 29, in an emotional Instagram post. The artist’s cause of death hasn’t been disclosed at the time of writing.
Philadelphia native Malik B, full name Malik Abdul Baset, joined The Roots in the nineties alongside founding members Questlove and Black Thought.
The band wrote: ‘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.’
Their post added: ‘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.’
Many musicians have taken to social media to pay tribute to the rapper, including hip-hop artist Reef the Lost Cauze, who wrote: ‘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.’
While a member of the band, he contributed to the and albums, before leaving in 1999 to pursue a solo career. In that time, he released an album titled in 2005, and in 2006.
He also collaborated with Mr Green on 2015’s , who wrote on Twitter following the news: ‘Rip to the great Malik B, this one hurts.’