AceShowbiz - The Roots is mourning the loss of one of their founding members. The hip-hop band sadly confirmed through a statement on Wednesday, July 29 that their ex-member, Malik B, has passed away. He was 47.
In the statement, the group admitted it was hard for them to accept the news. "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," so the statement read. "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."
To conclude the statement, The Roots asked their fans to respect their and Malik's family's privacy in the grieving time. They didn't reveal his cause of death.
Later on, Black Thought took to his Instagram account with his own tribute, reflecting on the time they spent together during the early years of The Roots. "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," he wrote. "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***h."
He continued, "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 was one of the founding members of The Roots alongside Black Thought and Questlove, releasing four albums with them before he left the group in 1999 to pursue a solo career. He later returned as a featured for some later albums, including 2016's "Game Theory".