Washington, D.C, United States — The founding member of The Rooths, Malik Abdul Basit has passed away at the age of 47.
A statement posted on the group’s verified twitter account stated that: “We regretfully inform you of the passing of our beloved brother and long time Roots member Malik Abdul Basit,” the statement read.
“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.”
The cause of the singer’s death was not disclosed to the public.
Basit, who performed under the name of Malik B., was a part of the Philadelphia-based group from its early beginnings to about 1999, when he departed amid group tensions detailed in the song “Water” from The Roots album “Phrenology,” which speake about Basit’s struggles with addiction. The song was written by Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter.
Although the American singer and rapper went on to produce solo materials, he appeared on several tracks on Roots albums even after several years of his departure.