Malik Yusef the WordSmyth
Six-time Grammy winning artist, poet, songwriter and producer Malik Yusef directs organizational and campaign strategies that utilize arts and culture to reach communities and move them to action. He brings his unparalleled relationships across music, fashion, film, television, poetry, and fine arts, and organizes his peers to contribute their talents to culturally progressive agendas.
Malik Yusef, the WordSmyth, is an avant-garde spoken word poet—with timely lyrics that address and bring attention to national and global issues. Born and raised in Chicago’s south side amongst a humble and sometimes troubled beginning, Malik rose out of those surroundings to become a 24-time Grammy award-nominee, six-time Grammy award-winner, and seven-time ASCAP award-winner for both Pop and R&B. Other credits include Emmy, Peabody, and Tony awards. Some of Malik’s early influences include Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, William Shakespeare, Haki Madhubuti, Malcolm X, and Phillis Wheatley.
In 2017, Malik earned his latest Grammy Award for co-writing "Sandcastles" on Beyoncé’s album Lemonade, which won Best Urban Contemporary Album of The Year and was additionally nominated for co-writing & producing 15/18 tracks on Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo; other notable creative accolades include his work on the Grammy nominated track "All Day," Ty Dolla $ign’s album Free TC, and Common’s critically acclaimed album Nobody’s Smiling. He was also a featured producer with the legendary band WAR on their first studio album in 20 years, released in June 2014. All of his music credits can be found on his artist website here.
As one of Kanye West’s most trusted contributors, Malik was a co-writer of eight out the ten songs on Yeezus, a writer and producer on Cruel Summer and a trusted artist of the G.O.O.D. Music team. Additionally, Malik co-wrote seven songs on Kanye’s Double Platinum, 5th release, and Rolling Stone's "Album of the Year" My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Malik is credited as a writer/producer/collaborator on Kanye’s critically acclaimed film Runaway, which in turn contains much of Malik’s music. He is also credited on West's critically acclaimed 808’s and Heartbreak and his first albums, The College Dropout and The Late Registration.
Malik was Executive Producer of the album H.O.M.E. (Heal Our Mother Earth), featuring Common, NE-YO, Elle Varner, Karmin, Raheem DeVaughn, Crystal Waters and a host of dynamic artists. The album H.O.M.E. launched People’s Climate Music in 2014, a project of Hip Hop Caucus that is brings culture and diversity to the forefront of the environmental movement.
Malik is signed to the world’s largest music publisher, Universal Music Publishing, and is affiliated with Wiz Khalifa’s Taylor Gang. Malik has been able to build and maintain incredible industry connections and relationships by performing, collaborating, and serving the likes of Katy Perry, Common, Jennifer Hudson, Rihanna, JAY Z, Vic Mensa, and Adam Levine.