Malik Abdul Basit was one of the founding members of the band, The Roots, and an inspirational figure for thousands of fans who he inspired. The Philadelphia based hip-hop vocalist, popularly known as Malik B., passed away at the age of 47, as reported by NBC News . The cause of his death has not been revealed yet and may be known in due time.
The news of his death was officially confirmed by the band's Twitter account that said: "We regretfully inform you of the passing of our beloved brother and long time Roots member Malik Abdul Basit. May he be remembered for his devotion to Islam and innovation as one of the most gifted MCs of all time. We ask that you please respect his family in our time of mourning."
According to NBC News, the other founding members Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter and Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson had met Basit in Philadelphia from where the band took off to fame. The band's breakthrough album 'Things Fall Apart' came out in 1999 and Basit was a part of the band for their first four albums. Basit reportedly had struggled with substance abuse but had been a part of the group for the 2006's 'Game Theory,' after leaving it earlier.
Blackthought, another founding member of the band, wrote a heartfelt message on Instagram in his memory. He said: "We made a name and carved a lane together where there was none. We ressurected 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."
He added: "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."
The hip-hop industry would feel the loss of one of the real singers in the community. May the legend rest in peace!