original first round pick, Memphis Bleek, is getting ready to release his new
The album – named
for the Marcy Projects apartment building he grew up in – is a reintroduction
of sorts for the Brooklyn, New York native.
"I feel like
in some ways, this is like the first album of a new career," Bleek said.
"It’s like this is an opportunity for me to kind of remind everyone where
I’m coming from and who I am.”
to Swizz Beatz, who produced on the rapper’s first album, for the latest
single, “Like That.”
"Back in the
day, I was the first artist besides Jay to come out of the Roc-a-Fella camp
and I had a hot beat from Swizz,” Bleek revealed. “Fast-forward:
Jay’s the president of Def Jam, Roc-a-Fella’s back in order, and I’m the first
to come out again, with a Swizz produced joint. It’s crazy."
The recording of
534 began at the home of Roc-a-Fella A&R, engineer and producer,
Gimmel "Young Guru" Keaton.
According to Bleek,
the humble setup helped keep Bleek focused and hungry.
"I just wanted
to get back to what I’m all about,” Bleek said. “It’s like when
I first started rhyming, I had a friend who was a DJ and we’d make records at
his place using the headphones as a microphone. We just wanted to be making
534 hits stores May 17th and features guest appearances from M.O.P.,
Jay-Z, the Young Gunz and production from Swizz Beats, 9th Wonder and Just Blaze.