Malik B, Founding Member Of The Roots, Dies At 47!

MALIK B AND QUESTLOVE HAND WRESTLE, By Mariel Turner, Posted July 30th 2020

Malik B, one of the founding members of the hip-hop group The Roots, has died at the age of 47.

The Philadelphia native’s untimely passing was confirmed on Twitter by family members and colleagues on Wednesday, July 29. His cause of death is currently unknown.

Former CBS News correspondent Don Champion, who was Malik’s cousin, paid tribute to the rapper in a tweet.

“Mourning my beloved cousin today. He was so talented and had a huge heart,” Champion wrote on Wednesday. “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 ❤️.”

Fellow Philadelphia rapper The Lost Cauze, who was a frequent collaborator of The Roots, also released a statement on the passing of his friend.

“Heartbroken to hear of the passing of Malik B, one of the greatest MC’s to ever come from this city,” Cauze wrote on Twitter. “He had his troubles for sure, but dude inspired a whole generation of us to touch the mic. Myself included. May he rest peacefully.”

Malik joined The Roots in the early ’90s before the release of the group’s debut album, 1993’s “Organix.” He went on to appear on three more Roots albums, “Do You Want More?!!!??!,” “Illadelph Halflife” and “Things Fall Apart,” before departing the group in the early 2000s to work on solo projects.

Malik released two studio albums of his own, 2005’s “Street Assault” and 2015’s “Unpredictable,” along with a 2006 EP, “Psychological EP.” He returned to The Roots over the years for features and guest verses.

Fellow Roots founding member Black Thought shared his heartbreak in a statement on Wednesday afternoon as reports began to surface of Malik’s passing.

“We made a name and carved a lane together where there was none,” he wrote on Instagram alongside a throwback photo of himself, Malik and Roots co-founder Questlove. “We resurrected 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 b***h.”

He continued, “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. #MalikB#TheLegendaryRootsCrew.”

Questlove has yet to comment on the news of Malik’s death.

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