As Ja Rule prepares to head to prison, his one-time rival, DMX, is now a free man after completing his sentence for a probation violation.

All Hip-Hop reports that the rapper, whose real name is Earl Simmons, was greeted by friends and family members after being released from a Yuma, Ariz. jail today.

"I spoke to my daughter, I just got off the phone with my wife," Simmons told the site. "I'm going to go see my daughter while the sun is up, then I'm going to be in the studio, man."

DMX was sentenced to a year in prison for violating his probation by refusing to take a drug test, among other violations. He served seven months after receiving credit for time served while awaiting trial.

DMX's last album was 2006's 'Year of the Dog ... Again,' which reached No. 2 on the charts. His reps said they want to keep him focused on working, and they are in negotiations to bring DMX to Rick Ross' Maybach Music label.

"It is time to let the dog out of the kennel," said his manager, Nakia Walker. "Earl has so much more to offer the world. His latest project has been on hold for so long! It is now time for X to redefine the world of Hip-Hop with his highly anticipated album of inspirational, painful & street accredited rhymes."

Watch the DMX 'Party Up (Up In Here)' Video