The Roots founding member Malik B dies aged 47

Rapper Malik B, a founding member of The Roots, has died at the age of 47.

The news was announced on Twitter by his cousin Don Champion on Wednesday as he wrote: ‘Mourning my beloved cousin today. He was so talented and had a huge heart.

‘I still remember when he and The Roots were starting out. He’d give me and my dad their cassette tapes to listen to. I miss you already, Mailk. #RIP.’

He shared another tweet which read: ‘R.I.P. to the great Malik B of The Roots. #RootsCrew #illadelphhalflife’

The news was also shared by collaborator, 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.’

Born Malik Abdul Basitis considered a Philly legend for his hip-hop origins in the 90s as part of The Roots alongside Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson and Tariq ‘Black Thought’ Trotter.

He was with the crew — originally known as Square Roots — for their first four albums.

The rapper then left in 1999, along with several other longtime members, ahead of the fifth album Phrenology, to pursue a solo career.

Black Thought dedicated Phrenology track Water to Malik B, which detailed their meeting and his addition to The Roots.

He returned to the group as a featured artist on two studio albums including 2006’s Game Theory and Rising Down two years later.

Although the latest incarnation of the group performs as the house band on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Malik was never part of that collective.

I’m sick….Malik B…rest easy bro.I don’t know what to say. He passed last night. Don’t know the circumstances. He will be missed tremendously.

Malik had guest verses on Game Theory and Rising Down, the band’s seventh and eighth studio albums, in 2006 and 2008, respectively.

Twitter was quickly flooded with messages expressing condolences to the rapper’s family and fond remembrances of his contributions to hip-hop’s rich tapestry.

Collaborators like Mr. Green and peers like J-Live shared videos and links to his standout performances as they paid tribute.

There are still no details regarding the cause of death.

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