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20130118-gunplay-600x-1358537564Rick Ross associate Gunplay had a breakout year in 2012, signing with Def Jam Records after a string of provocative mixtapes and attention-grabbing guest appearances. However, the campaign ended with the rapper restricted to his apartment following an October arrest on armed robbery charges.

On Thursday, a judge granted him reprieve from house arrest, he told Rolling Stone in an interview at his Hialeah, Florida, residence last night. The rapper, born Richard Morales, will now face trial on February 25th for the armed robbery charges, for which he faces a potential life sentence. Despite video evidence that appears to show him forcefully taking a gold chain and cell phone during a dispute with his former accountant, Gunplay says he fully expects to beat the case and is already plotting a tour in the spring. “Not guilty,” he told Rolling Stone. “The problem that we had was between me and him but that’s what happens sometimes. We’re just waiting for the last trial date so we can get [the case] kicked out.”

Though Gunplay may have been cooped up in an apartment for the better part of three months, the provocative rapper was far from silent. Today sees the release of Cops and Robbers, a mixtape collecting recent freestyles, guest appearances and a handful of original songs including “Bet That,” a track with G.O.O.D. Music rapper Pusha T which addresses his charges. He plans to follow with another mixtape of all-original material before releasing his Def Jam debut, Medellin, in late spring. The Colombian city, famous for Pablo Escobar’s drug cartel, was the site of an infamous (in hip-hop circles, at least) YouTube video in which Gunplay was seen snorting cocaine. READ MORE

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