Controversial rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard has signed to Roc-A-Fella Records, and will soon begin work on his label debut. The artist, who has just been released after two years in prison, announced the n

Controversial rapper Ol' Dirty Bastard has signed to Roc-A-Fella Records, and will soon begin work on his label debut. The artist, who has just been released after two years in prison, announced the new deal today (May 1) in New York. The rapper (real name: Russell Jones) says he will now go by another pseudonym, Dirt McGirt, and has launched a clothing line of that same name.

"All we wanna do at the Roc is give [Ol' Dirty Bastard] love and help him get to where he needs to go," said Roc-A-Fella CEO Damon Dash. Dash also hinted that the artist would be taking part in the label's summer Roc Army tour, set to kick off in late May.

No specifics about the rapper's forthcoming album plans were revealed, but he said he wanted to collaborate with a number of artists, including Mariah Carey -- who was present at today's announcement -- 50 Cent, and new labelmate Jay-Z. ODB's last solo album, 1999's "N*gga Please," debuted at No. 2 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and has sold 703,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan.

ODB said he was excited about the state of the rap world and missed contributing. "I just wanna jump in there like a swimming pool," he said. As for any plans to again collaborate with his mates in the Wu-Tang Clan, the artist cryptically said, "Yeah, you know the Wu. We're gonna bring you back to the dinosaur days."

In typical fashion, he engaged the audience with bizarre answers. When a female journalist inquired what the rapper would be doing this evening, he replied, "I gotta stretch my body tonight. Maybe get a massage. Actually, you're looking kinda pretty yourself!"

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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