Rapper Beanie Sigel is in the studio with songwriting/production duo Dre & Vidal, working on a new album he is hoping to have ready for release early next year.

Rapper Beanie Sigel is in the studio with songwriting/production duo Dre & Vidal, working on a new album he is hoping to have ready for release early next year. Describing his Philadelphia colleagues Dre & Vidal as two producers who make real music, Sigel says the trio is on a mission to spawn a rebirth of the city's sound.

"Dre & Vidal are the new millennium Gamble & Huff," he said earlier this week prior to the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Awards. "With me, you're looking at the new Teddy Pendergrass of hip-hop. We're here to turn off a lot of people's lights," he added with a laugh.

Sigel also bemoaned the current musical state of hip-hop. "Both musically and lyrically, hip-hop has declined within the last three years," he said. "There's no substance. No one is talking about anything but there's a lot going on in terms of current events and other issues."

Sigel knows of what he speaks, having spent a year behind bars on gun charges. He was acquitted of attempted murder last September and also briefly jailed in November for failure to pay child support. In late May, he suffered minor injuries after being during an attempted robbery.

The as-yet-untitled new album will be the follow-up to 2005's "The B. Coming," which has sold 405,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

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