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Released: 20th June 2005.

Malik Yusef - The Great Chicago Fire: A Cold Day In HellThe name might mean nothing to most people at the moment but can Malik Yusef break it into the hip-hop mainstream?

Boasting one of the most staggering collaboration lists ever (Carl Thomas, Twista, Kanye West and Common to name but a few) this album looks incredibly promising, and the fact that it's not been a massive success means one of two things. Either it's a rather more critically acclaimed album than one that appeals to the masses, or it's simply not good enough.

This album ranks somewhere between the two really. It's not the beat-heavy stuff that for some reason appears to be incredibly popular, however for what it is, it's still not something that stands out. True, there's some pleasant stuff on here, but I think it's probably best that this album stays rather unknown, because frankly there's better stuff out there at the moment.

Still, if I had to recommend a track, I'd say that closing track "Get Ready" shows some real talent, with Twista's razor-sharp rapping helping to make the album end on a high note.

I think I maybe should chalk this album up as much "not my thing" as "nothing special".

* * * (matthew_dixon)

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