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Since the release of the debut album Blue Collar back in 2006, Rhymefest has been A.W.O.L. when it comes to being in the mainstream, but the release of El Che, which dropped Tuesday, looks to bring the rapper back to the spotlight.

A lot has changed for the rapper since people were rocking “Brand New”.

During an interview with HipHopWired, the Chicago rapper updated on what has been the long wait for his sophomore album, falling back on Kanye West this go around and what to expect with El Che.

“I think with El Che, what people can expect is just more of the same, more Hip-Hop.  The good thing about the Rhymefest brand is that you get something different with every release.  Blue Collar was one thing, and the Michael Jackson dedication album was a whole another experience, The Manual was a whole nother experience from anything that I’ve done thus far.”

As West was such a factor on Blue Collar, Fest felt as though his involvement may have done more hurt than help as some might have looked at him as being dependent on his friend when it came to the recording process.

“My thing is that I realized through that experience that coat-tailing somebody doesn’t work.  I don’t want people to play a Rhymefest song because they want to hear Kanye.  You want to hear Kanye, go buy a Kanye West album.  I want people, like if people say Lupe, they think “Superstar” they think “Kick, Push” they think all this stuff.  When people say Rhymefest, they need to think “Say What’s Up”, “How High”, “Bullet and a Target”, they need to think of my songs and I don’t think I can accomplish that by having artists that overshadow me on my records. 

Just for the image alone, I’m not saying rhyme-wise, but the image they have will overshadow what I’m bringing to the table.  I need to build up what I am as an artist and that’s why on this album I put people on there that I feel like we’re on the same level.  So when you see me and Phonte do a joint, or me and Skyzoo do a joint, or Saigon, then it seems more real.”

He also elaborated on the politics behind the record label and what caused the long process behind actually releasing his second solo project.

“I mean, there’s always label issues, the fans don’t see that.  You can’t just put out an album when you want to put out an album, although you’re the one that gets blamed when it doesn’t come out, you’re the one that gets blamed when it’s not successful.  But sometimes when you do your business the wrong way, you gotta wait.  Or when you think something is going to happen and people are promising you stuff and you wait and you wait, they’ll make you wait until you dry up and there’s no more of you left and so I had to escape that situation.”

Go cop Rhymefest’s newest album El Che, in stores now.