Hiero Imperium Signs O.C.

D.I.T.C. member O.C.

has signed with the indie label Hiero Imperium and plans to release his fifth

solo album Smoke & Mirrors later this year.

Described as a concept album

about conflict and hypocrisy in the entertainment industry, Smoke &

Mirrors is intended to finally launch O.C.'s rap career, after numerous

fruitless attempts.

"Knowing my history

and work ethic, Hiero said to me, 'We don't have to baby-sit you, just do your

thing,'" said O.C. in a statement. "Now, how many labels do you know

of that say that to their artists?"

The rapper also said he

has been given complete artistic control for the first time in his career with

the label, which was founded in 1997.

"The cats from Hiero

experienced the same music industry bulllsh*t as me," said O.C., who is

the first East Coast artist associated with the label. "I think part of

the reason for their success is their egalitarian attitude. With Hiero, I'm

treated more like a partner than just an artist."

Hiero Imperium is the label

founded by the pioneering Bay area rap collective, Hieroglyphics.

Smoke &

Mirrors hits stores on November 1.