Rapper Malik B has died at the age of 47.
The star, whose real name was Malik Abdul Baset, was a member of group The Roots.
The band confirmed his tragic death in an Instagram statement, writing: “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 Baset.
“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.”
The rapper’s cousin, Don B, also paid tribute on Twitter.
He wrote: “Mourning my beloved cousin today.
“He was so talented and had a huge heart. 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, Malik.”
Malik’s cause of death has not yet been released.
The rapper and singer was considered a legend in Philadelphia, and was a founding member of The Roots, who formed in 1987.
He stayed with the group, which also starred Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson and Tariq ‘Black Thought’ Trotter, for four albums before departing in 1999.
He went on to pursue a solo career after that, but later reunited with his group as a featured artist on some of their later albums.
A host of rappers took to social media to pay tribute following the sad news of his death.
Blueprint posted: “Rest in Peace to Malik B of The Roots.
“Step into The Realm’ from Things Fall Apart was always one of my favorite performances from him.
“One more classic verse from Malik B from “Distortion to Static.” “Now go get your dictionary and your dictionary…” RIP”
His devastated fans also took to Twitter to pay tribute.
One posted: “Wow RIP Malik B. Thank you for your contributions to the genre and music that so many of us love.”
“Malik B made one of the best roots songs ever with “The Spark”. Rest In Peace,” wrote another.
While a third tweeted: “Damn. Rest in Power Malik B.”
Another posted: “Wow troubled to hear the passing of one of my favorite MCs, Malik B from the Roots. One of the first visible members of the ummah in hip hop for me Rest In Peace.”
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