‘The Roots’ Founding Member, Malik Abdul Basit, Dies at 47

Malik Abdul Basit, better known with his stage name Malik B, passed away at the age of 47. The group issued an official statement and announced the death of the talented rapper and emcee on social media. The actual cause of death is not yet revealed. Whether Malik Abdul Basit died of some illness or some other reason is not clear yet. 

‘The Roots’, Malik B’s former band issued a statement on Twitter and Instagram on July 29, 2020. They said that they are deeply sorry and disturbed by the death of their brother. They hope that the audience will remember Malik Abdul Basit as a true Islam devotee and one of the most talented MCs ever. 


They also asked the media and fans to respect the privacy of his closed ones and family as they mourn their loss.

Malik Abdul Basit Career


Malik Abdul Basit was the founding member of the hip hop musical band, The Roots. He co-founded the band with Tariq ‘Black Thought’ Trotter and ‘Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thomspon in 1987. The band was the home band for ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’ and ‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon’. The Roots is also known as ‘The Fifth Dynasty’, ‘The Square Roots’, and ‘The Legendary Roots’. 

‘The Roots’ has always garnered critical acclaim and is considered as one of the earliest authentic hip-hop bands in the U.S.A. The band released its first album, Organix, and later, after the release of its fourth album, Malik B left the group. Malik Abdul Basit left the group in 1999 and the next year, the band won its first award for ‘You Got Me’. 


Malik B cited a personal reason as his genuine to quit the band. However, there was never any bitter blood between Malik B and the band. Malik Abdul Basit kept appearing in the band from time to time for cameo performances. He appeared in the band’s seventh album, Game Theory in 2006. He worked for the tracks, ‘Game Theory’, ‘In The Music’, and ‘Here I Come’.

The Roots have been known to change members very frequently ever since its inception. But, The Roots shared a close brotherhood with Malik Band it was clear with the way they credited him for his cameos. In the songs where Malik B collaborated with the group, the album would especially mention ‘featuring Malik B’. Malik Abdul Basit worked again with the group in 2008 and then collaborated with Mr. Green recently.

Malik Abdul Basit & His Brotherhood


Malik Abdul Basit was the calm that The Roots needed and the members of The Roots truly admired and respected him for that. While Black Thought was the flashiest member of the group and Questlove was the public lover, Malik B was more the rooted one. Black Thought and Malik B shared a beautiful bond and their chemistry could be seen in the raps they made.

The track ‘Do You Want More’ is all about the chilled out connection the brothers of the band had. Malik B’s raps were as strong as Black Thought. Black Thought updated a heartfelt message on social media in the loving memory of his rapper friend Malik Abdul Basit.


He said that he somehow always wanted that Malik Abdul Basit would change. He wished that Malik B would see the world in a more practical, sophisticated, economic way. He wanted him to get a perspective of opportunities that lie beyond the streets. However, he realized that Malik Abdul Basit and the streets can never be separated as they are one. 

We hope the dynamic and talented Malik Abdul Basit finds peace wherever he is now and his family to stay strong.

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