Black Thought has shared a heartfelt tribute to founding member of The Roots Malik B. News of his passing started making the rounds on social media after his cousin Don Champion confirmed his death.
In an Instagram post, The Roots' frontman penned a lengthy eulogy for his late friend.
"We made a name and carved a lane together where there was none," he wrote. "We resurrected a city from the ashes, put it on our backs and called it Illadelph. In friendly competition with you from day one, 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.
"I always wanted to change you, to somehow sophisticate your outlook and make you see that there were far more options than the streets, only to realize that you and the streets were one... and there was no way to separate a man from his true self. My beloved brother M-illitant. I can only hope to have made you as proud as you made me. The world just lost a real one. May Allah pardon you, forgive your sins and grant you the highest level of paradise."
Malik appeared on The Roots first four albums — 1993’s Organix, 1995’s Do You Want More?!!!??!. 1996’s Illadelph Halflife and 1999’s Things Fall Apart. He ultimately left the group but returned years later to contribute some guests verses to subsequent albums.
He was 47.