Malik B., a co-founder of The Roots, has died, the band confirmed on Wednesday. He was 47.
The rapper's cause of death has yet to be announced. In a statement, The Roots' Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson and Tariq "Black Thought" Trotter said they wanted Malik B. to be "remembered for his devotion to Islam, his loving brotherhood, and his innovation as one of the most gifted MCs of all time."
Born Malik Basit in Philadelphia, he met Trotter while they were both students at Millersville University. Trotter and Thompson were performing as The Square Roots, and with Malik B., they became The Roots, releasing their debut album in 1993. Malik B. left the band after the release of their fourth album, 1999's Things Fall Apart, but made guest appearances on two albums that came out in the 2000s.