The Hip-Hop world is reeling due to the unexpected passing of Malik B. But one person certainly more pointedly feeling the pain of the fallen MC leaving this Earth too soon is his friend and fellow Roots founding member Black Thought.
While Black Thought, born Tariq Trotter, and Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson initially found the Square Roots, Malik B would join the fold before the release of their debut album, Organix. But Do You Want More?!!!??! in 1995 was their breakthrough stateside, with Malik blessing bars on their projects until his departure around 2000.
Taking to Instagram, Black Thought dropped some heartfelt words in tribute to his late partner in rhyme, making sure to know his greatness on the microphone inspired him to be that much better.
“We made a name and carved a lane together where there was none,” wrote the rapper and actor. “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. 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. #MalikB #TheLegendaryRootsCrew”
Hip-Hop Wired extends it condolences to the family, friends and fans of the late, great Malik B worldwide.
Check this writer’s personal favorite verse (well, one of many) from The Roots’ “Proceed II,” featuring Roy Ayers, below.