Rapper Malik B. has died at the age of 47. News of his passing was confirmed in a statement posted to The Roots‘ Instagram account Wednesday night.

“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,”

Born Malik Abdul Basit, the late MC met Questlove and Black Thought in college during the late 80s. This threesome went on to form The Roots in 1987. Basit remained a member of the legendary rap group from its early albums such as Organix, until his departure in 1999 after the release of the classic hit Things Fall Apart. After his departure from the group, Malik B. released a solo album titled Street Assault.

His former group mates each released their own personal tributes:

At this moment no cause of death has been released. We will provide updates as they become available.

Join us in sending love and condolences to Malik B.’s family and loved ones.

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