Pop Gets Ruff Treatment

Ruff Pop signs singer/songwriter LT.

Hip-hop label Ruff Ryder Records has started a pop imprint.

Ruff Pop's first signing is LT, a 23-year old singer/songwriter from Arizona. Her first single "This is Not About You" went to radio in early May.

The label is eying a third-quarter release date for her album.

"We were just expanding and doing different things," says Ruff Ryder co-CEO Waah Dean. "We're testing the waters. Maybe we'll sign a male group next or a metal band."

Although LT's single has already gone to radio, Dean says the pop label will utilize tactics that have proven successful on the hip-hop side with such acts as DMX, Jadakiss and Eve.

"With hip-hop, I build from the streets up and build credibility for the artist. You hit the mom-and-pop stores and the mix shows, and then go to radio," Dean says. "Here, we started at radio, but we'll do the other stuff too."