Artist Yusef’s work on John Legend’s winning Grammy album

Spoken word poet Malik Yusef with Kanye West

The career of Malik Yusef, Chicago’s spoken word poet, professionally known as “The Wordsmyth,” continues to ascend to the top of the game. 

His work was recognized Sunday night at the 53rd Grammy Awards as a writer/performer on several songs on John Legend’s Best R&B album, Wake Up! performed by John Legend & The Roots.

A South Sider, Yusef has written and performed on the albums of some of Chicago’s leading hip hop and rap recording artists.  They include his friend, Common, Twista, Rhymefest and Kanye West, who has include Yusef on two albums.

Yusef’s latest songs and performance are included the Good Morning, Good Night: The Green Experience album, executive produced by West on his G.O.O.D. Music label, that will hit stores on March 15. 

 “As human beings we have ebbs and flows,” states Yusef about his poetic inspiration behind The Green Experience.  “All things must keep a balance. People tend to look at things as half and half, but it’s really more about adding what’s needed to your life.”

His work is also heard on an earlier Good Morning, Good Night West album.

Yusef’s creative flow as a spoken word artist transcends his recordings.  Hollywood Jerome, directed by Frey Hoffman (Jesus Walks) is a film adapted from his poem of the same name.

It profiles the fate of a Chicago teenager who idolizes Hollywood gangsters. Offering an educational outreach component on youth violence, the award-winning film continues to screen at national and international festivals.

It was produced in Chicago with funding from Chicago’s Independent Feature Project.
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