Malik B.

Malik B.


Malik Abdul Basit (November 14, 1972 – July 29, 2020), professionally known as Malik B., was an American MC from Philadelphia, PA, best known as one of the founding members of hip-hop group The Roots. He appeared on the first four albums, before leaving the group in 2001.

On “Water,” a song off the group’s 2002 album, Phrenology, Black Thought detailed his long friendship with Malik B. He mentioned how Malik changed due to an addiction to several substances, including codeine and prescription pills.

Despite his departure, Malik B. kept an amicable relationship with The Roots, collaborating as late as 2008’s Rising Down. He was featured on three tracks on their 2006 album, Game Theory. In the album liner notes, The Roots thanked Malik B., adding “Welcome Home.”

Malik B. died on July 29, 2020 at the age of 47. After his death, Black Thought wrote on Instagram:

I always felt as if I possessed only a mere fraction of your true gift and potential. Your steel sharpened my steel as I watched you create cadences from the ether and set them free into the universe to become poetic law, making the English language your bitch.