Black Thought Shares A Powerful Tribute To Former The Roots Member Malik B Following His Death

The hip-hop world received some bad news today: Malik B (real name Malik Abdul Baset), a former member of The Roots, passed away at 47 years old. The news was confirmed by former CBS News correspondent (and Malik’s cousin) Don Champion.

Not long after the news was made public, Black Thought (aka Tariq Trotter) shared a powerful statement on Instagram. Posting an old photo of Malik, himself, and Questlove, he wrote:

“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 b*tch. 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 Roots also shared a photo of Malik and wrote, “We regretfully inform you of the passing of our beloved brother and long time Roots member Malik Abdul Baset. 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.”

Malik joined The Roots in time to appear on their 1993 debut album Organix. He went on on to appear on Do You Want More?!!!??!, Illadelph Halflife, and Things Fall Apart. He left the group before they released 2002’s Phrenology.

Find Black Thought’s and The Roots’ posts below.

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