The Roots co-founder Malik B. died Wednesday at age 47. After his cousin, Don Champion, delivered the news, tributes from the music community began to pour in, but none were as powerful as those from his former Roots bandmates.
Black Thought and Questlove both honored the memory of Malik B. — who was in the group from 1987-1999 and made a few sporadic appearances in the 2000s — but in different fashions.
Black Thought saluted Malik in a solemn Instagram post.
“We made a name and carved a lane together where there was none. We ressurected [sic] 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,” he said.
He continued, “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.”
Later in the day, Questlove shared a lengthy story about Malik being his “oil guru.”
“As a true Bol from philly you know that one’s oil game HAD to be on point. I came in this game rockin oils since age 9. Most of yall joke about me smelling like Breakfast (thx Kravitz clan) but long before my vanilla combo mastery my true graduation from basic Frankincense & Myrrh morphed into new exotic philly jawns like “Mecca Musk” & “Somali Rose” & “Egyptian Musk” & yeah…..”Money On the Street” & “Hug My Neck Aphrodisiac,” he started.
Questlove continued by recalling how he was an intern at Ruffhouse Records, used his access to CDs to trade for oils, and how things progressed from there (we won’t ruin the story).
Check out both remembrances below.
Btw… we thank you all for the kind words & love shown to Malik last night.
— B.R.O.theR. ?uestion (@questlove) July 30, 2020