Citizen Cope is preparing himself for life after major labels.

Citizen Cope is preparing himself for life after major labels.

The Brooklyn singer/songwriter (aka Clarence Greenwood) was recently released from RCA, which put out his last two albums, 2004's "The Clarence Greenwood Recordings" and 2006's "Every Waking Moment." (His self-titled 2002 debut came out on DreamWorks.) Now, Cope tells Billboard.com, he's weighing his options as he prepares to start work on his fourth album.

"I'm kind of considering my own imprint, maybe in conjunction with a major label, but we'll see," says Cope, who's disappointed things didn't work out better with RCA.

"Basically the promotion staff did not think I had the kinds of songs they wanted," he explains, "so I did two records that never even got in the college radio chart, or Triple-A. When your whole stable is, like, 'American Idol,' there's no real swagger to the label."

Cope says RCA still owns his two albums although he's negotiating to buy them back. Meanwhile, he's been working on new material -- "I got some good sh*t. I'm excited about that I got," he says -- and plans to start recording in May and June. Cope is also thinking about releasing a live album in the interim.

"Records are not a joke, man," he explains. "They're very deep. You gotta go real deep, and sometimes you've got to go to some dark places to do a record. You gotta know you really want to do it. If I'm inspired to go in and do another one soon, I'll do it, but I probably won't do it before the summertime."