Malik B, the Philadelphia rapper who was an early member The Roots, has died. He was 47 years old. "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 Baset,” Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter wrote in a statement. "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." No cause of death has been reported.

Born Malik Abdul Basit in 1972, he joined the early incarnation of the group in the late-'80s, when they were still known as The Square Roots, and recorded four albums with them: 1993's Organix, 1995's Do You Want More?!!!??!, 1996's Illadelph Halflife, and 1999's Things Fall Apart. His and Black Thought's early days are detailed in The Roots' song "Water," from 2002's Phrenology, and Malik also appeared as a guest on Game Theory and Rising Down. He also appeared on MC Solaar's classic 1994 album Prose Combat, released a solo album, Street Assault, in 2005, and in 2015 released Unpredictable, a collab with Mr. Green.

Rest in peace, Malik.

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