Mark Ronson, the acclaimed producer and deejay, has signed another rapper to join Rhymefest at his Allido Records imprint. Washington D.C. area rapper Wale inked with Ronson, who said, "I don't get excited by a lot of new artists. I just heard his shit and I freaked out. He's gonna be the first dude from DC who's gonna be big and do it, that's really exciting." After Rhymefest waited nearly three years to release his Blue Collar debut, Ronson promises faster action with his new signee, "Artists like Wale, we marry up to a major [label]. I expect a single by the end of the year to get out there, and then the album in April."
Ronson's own album, Version, has just reached gold status, having sold over 500,000 copies worldwide. The effort features the former Roc-A-Fella affiliate's own interpretations of songs from bands including Coldplay, The Smiths and Radiohead, including a posthumous appearance from Ol' Dirty Bastard, who Ronson was working with at the time of his death. "I just made this record 'cause I wanted to make it," said the producer of the inspiration. "I've always been a fan of Radiohead and The Smiths, from splitting my childhood between New York and England. I just thought that it'd be cool to take those songs...you can't always drop a Smiths song in the middle of a Hip Hop set in a New York City club. It's wrong, and it'll clear the floor. I thought I'd just start reworking those songs in a way I could play them for my crowd when I deejay." The album was a serious departure from 2003's Here Comes The Fuzz, which helped introduce Saigon and Rhymefest to commercial audiences.