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Malik B. (1972 – 2020), founding member of the Roots

by Linnea Crowther

Malik B. was a rapper and singer who was a founding member of the Roots.

The Roots and later career

Born Malik Abdul Basit, Malik B. founded the Roots along with Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter in 1987. The Philadelphia group independently released their debut album, “Organix,” in 1993, and it netted them a recording contract with Geffen. Their success grew throughout the ‘90s until their breakthrough fourth album, 1999’s “Things Fall Apart.” The critically acclaimed album went platinum and won the group a Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo of Group for the track “You Got Me.” Malik B. left the group after “Things Fall Apart,” though he occasionally returned for later collaborations with the Roots. He released solo album “Street Assault” in 2005 and “Unpredictable” along with Mr. Green in 2015.

What people said about him

Full obituary: Rolling Stone

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