After a four-year wait and some record label drama, Chicago rapper Rhymefest has finally set a release date for his sophomore album, El Che. The Grammy winner is now signed to independent label dN|Be Entertainment (the album will be distributed through EMI in conjunction with Roseship Records), which calls him its “flagship artist” and has given him “full creative control over his projects,” according to an issued press release. On his switch to dN|Be, Rhymefest said, “I wanted to be somewhere that not only appreciates artistry, lyricism, and originality, but also serves a greater purpose in Hip Hop and the Black community.” We’re all with him on that one.
Out May 18th, the followup to 2006’s Blue Collar LP will feature guest emcees including Little Brother and Saigon, along with a fellow Chicago rapper called Twone Gabz. The 16-track LP will also sport the production work of several notables, such as Scram Jones, S1, BKS and Terry Hunter.
The track list is not out yet, but Rhymefest has created a website that will release new information about the album daily, called ElCheTheMovement.com. The site also has a couple of streaming singles — “Say Wassup” and “How High” — along with links to social networking sites and a blog. This has the potential to be as anticlimactic as the Bonnaroo announcement, but keep in mind there should be tour dates up there soon as well (He’s already set to appear at South by Southwest). The MC will also have a mixtape up called DANGEROUS: 5-18 by spring.