Malik B, founding member of The Roots, has died aged 47

Malik B was a member of The Roots for 12 years.

Malik B, a founding member of legendary hip-hop group The Roots, has died at age 47.

Born Malik Abdul Basit, the rapper joined Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, alongside bassist Leonard “Hub” Hubbard, to form The Roots in 1987 and remained with the group until 1999. During his tenure, The Roots released four albums, including their commercial breakout Things Fall Apart.

After his departure, Basit released two solo albums, 2005’s Street Assault and 2015’s Unpredictable with producer Mr Green. Basit also released the 2006 EP Psychological.

Writing on Instagram, Basit’s former Roots bandmates paid tribute to the MC and his legacy. “It is with heavy hearts and tearful eyes that we regretfully inform you of the passing of our beloved brother and long time Roots member Malik Abdul Basit,” the band said. “May he be remembered for his devotion to Islam, His loving brotherhood and his innovation as one of the most gifted MCs of all time. We ask that you please respect his family and extended family in our time of mourning such a great loss.”

A cause of death has not been revealed.