Oakland seldom makes it all the way to bubble goose and Avirex, but there's a week or two every fall when the Bay and New York have comparable climates. The cool has finally settled in; it's either the low point until spring, or a sign of bitter things to come. Right at that intersection, Harlem's finest and Oakland's great weed entrepreneur have teamed up for the appropriately-named Contraband EP, a six-track set that casts the two as antiheroes in a war on softness. Sporting contributions from Sen City, Devin the Dude, Twista, Wiz Khalifa, 2 Chainz, Young Dolph and Ampichino, Contraband flies by, making for one of the year's most tightly-sealed efforts.

This year began loudly for Cam'ron; right at New Years, Funk Flex announced a Dipset reunion tour that would be supported by a handful of singles and would supposedly culminate in a new mixtape. The Dips did play their initial run of dates and drop a smattering of new raps, but no new full-length came to fruition, and fans in many cities are still waiting to relive the early Bush years. Cam has said time and time again that he plans to retire after Purple Haze 2, which would mark his seventh solo album. (The title, of course, refers to his 2004 magnum opus, which would be his second of two solo albums released on Roc-A-Fella Records.) However, neither a single nor release date for that LP has come down the pipeline yet.

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