Kaytranada: How His Music Went From His Basement to Dance Floors Around the World | The Culture

Kaytranada—the Haitian-born, Quebec-raised DJ and producer—started out messing with music on the family computer in his basement. Using production software, and posting his music online, Kaytra's use of technology helped him bring his unique sound into the real world. Years later the high school dropout's music can be heard on dance floors around the globe.

In our new episode of The Blueprint, Jinx visits Kaytranada at his parent’s home in Montreal to get the backstory on how he used a DIY approach to turn his dream into a reality, and the importance of his debut album 99.9%.

If you dive into Kaytranada’s catalog, you get the sense that he’s always pushing the boundaries for what his sound is, and it’s something that comes natural. “I don’t think about doing new, I just do it,” he says. “I keep on doing me, so that’s what the signature is.”

Kaytranada also shares advice for those looking for motivation to do something special, whether it’s in music or another passion. “It’s pretty much about doing what you love and following your dreams. It sounds really corny, but it’s so real. Deep down you know what you want, and you should go for it.”

Check out the full episode of The Culture with Kaytranada above, and if you’re still sleeping on 99.9% grab it here.

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Marshawn Lynch Made Several Jets Players Mad by Dancing on Sideline During Blowout

Marshawn Lynch played in his first home regular-season game for the Raiders on Sunday afternoon, and he made the most of it by running for 45 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries during a 45-20 win over the Jets. He also put together a memorable dance celebration on the sideline at the beginning of the fourth quarter that endeared him to the hometown crowd and showed off his love for Oakland.

Not everyone loved the dancing that Lynch did, though. After the game, a handful of Jets players spoke with the media and admitted that they were angry about seeing Lynch go full Beast Mode as “Oakland,” a song by Vell and DJ Mustard, played inside of Oakland Alameda Coliseum. They weren’t necessarily angry with Lynch himself, but several players revealed that they were angry with the situation that led to Lynch dancing with so much time left on the clock.

 

MOOD:

A post shared by NFL (@nfl) on Sep 17, 2017 at 3:38pm PDT

“It irks my ever-living nerves,” linebacker Jordan Jenkins said of Lynch's dancing, which came with the Raiders leading 35-13. “When I saw it happening, it was infuriating…That pissed me off. I’m an old-school guy. I don’t like when things like that happen. That was embarrassing, losing like that and having Marshawn dance like that. Great player, but seeing it happen, that should infuriate the whole team. It should infuriate everybody and we should have a good response coming into next Sunday.”

Jenkins later stopped short of referring to what Lynch did as “unsportsmanlike,” despite how angry it made him. “Guys dancing around, you can get mad at them—you’re supposed to. That’s football. You don’t blame it on unsportsmanlike,” he said. “He fights. He earned every bit of what he did today. I’m not going to take that away from him. Of course, I’m going to be pissed off at him for dancing like that, but that’s sports. That’s not unsportsmanlike at all.”

Nose tackle Steve McLendon added: “We’re upset because it seems like he was rubbing it in our face. But he’s winning, man. He can do whatever he wants to do.”

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And linebacker Darron Lee went as far as to label Lynch’s dancing “demoralizing.” But like many of his other teammates, he stopped just short of criticizing Lynch and admitted that it was the circumstances surrounding the game that frustrated him the most. “It’s their house—they can do whatever they want—but as a competitor, as a defender, you don’t like to see that type of stuff,” he said. “It’s demoralizing, but we have to bow up and keep fighting.”

After the game, Lynch didn’t have much to say about his dancing or the win that the Raiders earned to move them to 2-0 on the season. But he did state the obvious when he was asked what it was like to get the crowd going during the game. “It felt good,” he said.

Raiders fans are hoping for more of it in the coming weeks. They’ll hit the road for two games—including a Sunday Night Football matchup against the Redskins next Sunday—before returning to Oakland in Week 5 for a game against the Ravens.

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A Recap of New York Fashion Week Spring 2018

After a week of some of the biggest brands, designers, and celebrities all showing out for New York Fashion Week Spring 2018, it's now time to take a look back at some highlights. During a time when many people are questioning the importance of New York Fashion Week in comparison to its European counterparts, designers delivered some signature moments to lighten the discrediting of the festivities, even if only briefly. Brands like Helmut Lang, Opening Ceremony, Kith, Fenty Puma by Rihanna, and Alexander Wang all brought their own signature aesthetic to their respective shows. Here is a recap of some of the most entertaining shows from New York Fashion Week.

Some of the biggest celebrity cameos of the week came at Ronnie Fieg's Kith Sport show. The designer's second fashion show took place on Thursday night at the Classic Car Club Manhattan, where he showed off upcoming collections with brands like Moncler, Adidas Soccer, Champion, Iceberg, and Nike. Virgil Abloh, Scott Disick, and Carmelo Anthony were among the crowd, but two of the most memorable guests appeared on the runway. First, NBA Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen walked down the catwalk sporting pieces from Fieg's upcoming Nike collaboration. If that wasn't enough, Fieg decided to close out the show by putting a spotlight (literally) onto arguably the best basketball player in the world, LeBron James, who lip-synched the lyrics to Kanye West and Jay Z's “H.A.M.” 

Kith Spring/Summer 2018 Fashion Show
Kith's Spring/Summer 2018 fashion show. (Image via Getty/Randy Brooke/WireImage)

This past Saturday night, Alexander Wang took to Brooklyn to celebrate #WangFest. The mobile show included the likes of Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner stepping out of an Alexander Wang tour bus before strutting down the Brooklyn streets. Their looks, complete with party style hats that read “WangFest,” further alluded to the show's party atmosphere. Notable attendants included Kim Kardashian West and Kris Jenner, amongst others. Of course, the after party that Wang has become known for did not disappoint either. Cardi B and Ja Rule hit the stage to perform, and Dunkin Donuts, Dominos, and Budweiser took care of the food and drinks for the affair. 

Alexander Wang Spring/Summer 2018 Fashion Show
Alexander Wang's Spring/Summer 2018 fashion show. (Image via Getty/Gotham/GC Images)

Sunday night brought about even more festivities with Rihanna showing off her motocross and surf-inspired Spring 2018 Fenty line at the Park Avenue Armory. This was Rihanna's return to New York after her last two collections were debuted in Paris. Staying true to the theme, dirt bike riders tricked off of ramps over pink sand mountains to start the show. RiRi also took her bow on the back of a motorbike. The show boasted a star-studded front row that included Cardi B, Offset, Big Sean, and Jhené Aiko, to name a few.

Fenty Puma by Rihanna's Spring/Summer 2018 fashion show
Fenty Puma by Rihanna's Spring/Summer 2018 fashion show. (Image via Getty/Randy Brooke/WireImage)

Opening Ceremony decided to show off its Spring 2018 collection a little differently as well. Humberto Leon and Carol Lim debuted their collection using a dance performance titled “Changers,” which was written and directed by Spike Jonze. The collection itself featured plays on the collegiate wardrobe like varsity jackets, club T-shirts, sweatpants, and flannel shirts.

On Monday, Shane Oliver debuted his first collection for Helmut Lang at Pearl River Mart. The collection heavily referenced Lang's archive with a lot of pieces featuring fetish design, and leather accents as an added twist from Oliver. The former Hood By Air designer also included memorable head-turners—like an oversized bra that converts into a bag—in his collection. The ready-to-wear featured a line of Helmut Lang tour merch that featured red and white “HELMUT” branding throughout. ASAP Ferg, Ian Connor, Lil Yachty, Jerry Lorenzo, and more were among those who sat front row. 

Helmut Lang Spring/Summer 2018 Fashion Show
Helmut Lang's Spring/Summer 2018 fashion show. (Image via Getty/Catwalking)

 

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Watch the Joyful Video for VanJess and Masego’s “Touch The Floor”

Nigerian-American sisters VanJess released “Touch The Floor” at the end of 2016, but the video is here at the perfect time to get the song back in summer rotation. With an assist from Masego, “Touch The Floor” is a sultry house-influenced R&B track and the video is a warm and colorful celebration of life. Find a drink, find someone to dance with, and hit play.

Watch the video, directed by Topshelf Junior above.

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Klay Thompson Gives Zero F*cks in Video Showing His Awkward Dance Moves at the Club

During an appearance on behalf of his Chinese sneaker sponsor Anta last weekend, Klay Thompson got rejected by the rim on one of the worst dunk attempts you’ll ever see. But did he let that ruin his offseason trip to China? No!

After that awful dunk attempt, lesser players might have spent the remainder of their trips hiding in their hotel rooms and anxiously awaiting the moment when they could go home. But Thompson, who is just a couple weeks removed from winning his second NBA title in three years, did the exact opposite.

On Wednesday, a video surfaced that showed him dancing at a nightclub called Face Club in China all by himself. As Tiësto played in the background, Thompson pumped his fists, grabbed his crotch, and even worked a sick spin move into the mix, all while those gathered at the club watched—and filmed—him. It was quite a sight:

 

Klay having the time of his life in China

A post shared by Warriors World (@officialwarriorsworld) on Jun 28, 2017 at 10:53am PDT

If you’re going to embarrass yourself by getting hung on a dunk, this is how you make a smooth recovery and make everyone forget all about it. Thompson’s dance moves have been all the rage on social media over the course of the last 24 hours with plenty of NBA fans chiming in on the clip:

Even Steph Curry had a reaction to it. He came across the clip of Thompson dancing on Instagram and couldn’t contain his tears of joy:

Thompson himself hasn’t gotten around to explaining WTF was going through his mind when he was letting loose in the club. But it looks like his trip to China is going way better than we thought it was after seeing his dunk fail earlier this week.

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Prodigy Beefed With All Your Favorite Rappers, and Always Held His Own

Albert “Prodigy” Johnson, whose death from complications from sickle cell anemia was confirmed Tuesday afternoon, was a true rap legend. As a part of the duo Mobb Deep with Kejuan “Havoc” Muchita, and on his own (especially when partnering with producer Daniel “The Alchemist” Maman), P made classic music that will stand the test of time.

But almost as much as writing great rhymes, Prodigy loved a good rap beef. His career was filled with battles against many of the greatest rappers of all time, and he usually gave as good as he got.

Here is a by-no-means-definitive list of some of P's greatest rap beefs.

Tha Dogg Pound and 2Pac

In his 2011 memoir My Infamous Life, Prodigy traces his beef with nearly the entire West Coast to one video. He says that the clip for Tha Dogg Pound's collaboration with Snoop Dogg, “New York, New York,” which featured the rappers blown up to Godzilla size, walking through NYC wreaking havoc, was something he took personally.

So Mobb Deep teamed up with Capone-N-Noreaga and made “L.A., L.A.” in retaliation. As the East-West rivalry began to heat up, 2Pac, newly signed to Death Row, decided to get involved. 'Pac went at nearly everybody—Big, Nas, Jay Z, and Mobb Deep, plus a few more people for good measure—on “Hit 'Em Up.”

“Don't one of you niggas got sickle cell or something?” Pac teased on the track. “You fuck around with me, you about to have a seizure or a heart attack.”

P struck back immediately. In his book, he says that the very same day he first heard “Hit 'Em Up,” he went to the studio and recorded the vicious “Drop a Gem on 'Em.”

Sadly, just a few weeks later, 'Pac was killed.

Keith Murray and Def Squad

On the now-famous (and oft-parodied) monologue “The Infamous Prelude,” Prodigy took shots at (nameless) rappers who talk about “how much weed you smoke” and “space shit.”

One rapper who did just that, Keith Murray of Def Squad, felt some type of way. Eventually, they squashed the beef at a video shoot. That is, until Prodigy ignited it again by rhyming about “def kids feeling guilty 'bout the space shit” on LL Cool J's “I Shot Ya”—a record on which Murray appeared as well. 

At that point, Murray got into a fight with P outside NYC nightclub the Tunnel (“Keith Murray and his whole clique/Yeah, you snuffed me in front of the cops, that's bullshit,” Prodigy recalled on “In the Long Run”). The two would continue trading disses back and forth for years.

Jay Z

The “New York, New York” video actually started a second major beef in Prodigy's career. Jay made a passing reference to the clip on his 1998 song “Money, Cash, Hoes”: “It's like New York's been soft ever since Snoop came through and crushed the building.”

It was a line Prodigy took public exception to. “Jay was nowhere to be found when that drama popped off between Mobb Deep, Dogg Pound, Pac, and Biggie,” P told The Source. “That was our little personal beef, not a coastal war… so Jay Z is a bitch-ass nigga for making that quote in his lyrics.”

Tensions that had been stewing for years (there were, P claimed, subliminals thrown back and forth on “Trife Life” and “Where I'm From”) exploded in 2001 when Hov debuted his Mobb Deep diss “Takeover” live at Summer Jam, and included the now-infamous picture of a young Prodigy at his grandmother's dance school. 

“I did like the tactic that Jay used,” Prodigy said years later, about the photo displayed on the Summer Jam screen. “That was pretty slick.” He fired back with “Crawlin'”—and, at least according to his memoir, by nearly beating Jay up at Diddy's restaurant, Justin's

Nas

On “Destroy and Rebuild,” released in 2001, Nas took some shots at P, but in a very Nas-like way: “Prodigy, I got love for you,” he says on the song's outro. “Just get them unloyal niggas from out your circle.” Prodigy claimed in his book that Nas rapped this because “he was mad at me for doing a song with Cormega on which Mega took shots at Nas in his verse.”

But there was actually another, deeper level. P said in an interview on Vlad TV that some of Nas' Queensbridge friends were upset that Prodigy was repping their hood even though he wasn't originally from there. 

“I can't even really be mad at Nas, because these is the people he grew up with,” P said. “I had to distance myself from them, because [Nas is] standing next to someone who's threatening my life… that's how it got kind of crazy.” Nas and P reconciled when Prodigy returned home from prison in 2011.

Saigon and Tru Life

To hear Saigon tell it, the origin of this beef comes from Prodigy double-dipping. 

“Prodigy stole $15,000 from Tru Life. Not stole it, but he did a verse for him, and went and did the same verse and took the money, and then went and did the same verse on some other shit,” Sai told This Is 50. “Tru was like, 'Aight, give me another verse.' Son kept ducking.”

Tru Life and Mobb had serious issues from then on, which were documented in the film Beef. Tru claims he and his crew ran into a Mobb studio session with guns and beat some people up.

Because Tru Life and Saigon were close, Sai got dragged in as things escalated. Not helping matters was an interview where P said he didn't like Saigon—something Saigon saw and promised retaliation. It all culminated in a fight between Mobb Deep and Sai at SOBs in the fall of 2007. The two would continue to snipe at each other well into 2011.

As for Tru, he and Prodigy would finally reconcile in 2016.

Crooked I

While incarcerated, P was still keeping up to date on what was going on in hip-hop. Vibe conducted a poll about the best rapper alive in 2008, and Prodigy was not happy with the results. “Vibe says 920,000 people voted for it,” he wrote in a letter. “I would personally bitch slap all 920,000 of these voters if given the opportunity. Who in the fuck picked Crooked I, Flo Rida, and Rich Boy? How did Vibe approve this?”

Crooked responded by challenging Prodigy to a fight.

Havoc

P's propensity for feuds even extended to his own Mobb Deep collaborator, Havoc. In the spring of 2012, Havoc sent out a bunch of strange tweets attacking his partner in rhyme. He went as far as accusing P of having a homosexual relationship while locked up. “”I got n***as in the jail system to back up that prodigy was fucking homes in jail,” he wrote. 

Havoc then released a statement saying his phone was stolen. But that was proven to be a lie when audio of Havoc going at P was leaked to the Breakfast Club. The group went on temporary hiatus, but reunited the following year.

But today, to mark his passing, it's been all love from the rap world. Prodigy is a legend and he will be missed. 

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Trending Topics: DJ Carnage on Donald Glover, Young Thug, and Game of Thrones

DJ Carnage is a name equally respected in dance and hip-hop circles. He's an established name on the live festival circuit, even starting his own, RARE, in Orlando. That's where he met Young Thug, and the two linked up for an EP that's coming soon. Carnage's other upcoming collaborations are no less impressive—Lil YachtyMigos, and Meek Mill are among those who have recently blessed a Carnage beat, and the results are massive. 

Those tracks are on the way, but when DJ Carnage stopped by the offices, we wanted to talk about the here and now. For the latest episode of Trending Topics, we asked the artist about that Thug EP, the many talents of Donald Glover, and what it takes to enjoy a festival the right way. Watch Carnage's Trending Topics above, and check out last week's cut with Ryan Hemsworth below. 

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Lil B Offers to Lift Curse From James Harden Following Horrendous Playoff Performance

What in the world happened to James Harden during the Rockets’ elimination playoff game against the Spurs on Thursday night? That’s the question that many NBA fans both inside and outside of Houston were asking after San Antonio destroyed the Rockets 114-75 to advance to the Western Conference Finals, where they will face off against the Warriors.

The Spurs played Game 6 of their series against the Rockets without the services of their superstar Kawhi Leonard, who suffered an ankle injury in Game 5, but Harden played so poorly against the Spurs that it didn’t even matter. He scored just 10 points on 2-of-11 shooting and committed six turnovers during the game. And worse, he looked disinterested in playing for most of the night, which caused more than a few fans to question what he was doing:

To his credit, Harden shouldered the blame for the blowout loss after the game.

“Everything falls on my shoulders,” he said. “I take responsibility for it, both ends of the floor. You know, it’s tough, especially the way we lost at home for Game 6. But it happened. Now we move forward.”

Harden, who didn’t score his first points of the game against the Spurs until almost the six-minute mark in the second quarter, also said that the Rockets simply struggled to get into any sort of rhythm at the start of the game.

“I feel like I was making some passes, and we just didn’t knock down shots or whatever the case may be,” said Harden, who averaged 28.5 points and 8.5 assists during the Rockets’ playoff run. “As a team, as a unit, we didn’t have a rhythm, and they capitalized on that.”

And while there might be some truth to that, Harden himself was so bad that some people accused him of fixing the game, as if that was the only explanation for his putrid performance:

But Lil B saw things differently. Way back in May 2015, the rapper called Harden out for stealing his cooking dance and threatened to curse him:

Rockets fans begged Lil B not to put his infamous Based God Curse on Harden, but it was to no avail. Harden continued to use the cooking dance, and eventually, Lil B cursed him. And it looked like there was something to that curse after Harden put up a terrible 14-point, 12-turnover performance against the Warriors during an elimination game in the 2015 NBA Playoffs. He also shot just 2-of-11 from the field in that game.

Lil B briefly lifted the curse from Harden in June 2015, but it didn't last. He credited the curse with helping Harden set a new NBA record for most turnovers in a single season in April 2016:

He also warned Harden about using the cooking dance again this past April and reminded him about the curse:

And as recently as just last week, he spoke with ESPN’s The Undefeated about the curse and said Harden “is the only player in the NBA that’s cursed” at the moment. Kevin Durant had been subjected to the Based God Curse in the past, but Lil B lifted it after he joined the Warriors last summer.

But is the curse really the reason Harden played as poorly as he did against the Spurs on Thursday night? We can’t believe we’re actually saying this, but it’s as good an explanation as some of the others we’ve seen. There are literally people who think Harden threw the game to benefit the mafia, so who are we to say that the Based God Curse didn’t play a role in Harden’s struggles?

Whatever the case may be, Lil B is now offering to lift the curse from Harden—if he’s willing to put his ego to the side and talk to Lil B this offseason. Shortly after the Rockets got bounced from the playoffs, Lil B sent out this tweet:

And plenty of people responded to it by urging Harden to pick up the phone and call Lil B to have the curse lifted:

Whether you buy into this Based God Curse business or not, it’s clear that something wasn’t right with Harden on Thursday night. So it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea for him to take whatever steps he feels are necessary—including possibly calling Lil B—to correct the problems he had before next season rolls around. Otherwise, this curse might continue to haunt him.

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A History of Bow Wow Taking L’s

Ah, Bow Wow. Remember the world's first glimpse of him—being discovered by Snoop Dogg in 1993 at age six, and rapping his little heart out The Arsenio Hall Show?

Unfortunately, since Lil Bow Wow dropped the “Lil” and stopped covering Kurtis Blow tunes and hanging around with Michael Jordan, the former child star has had some serious fails, many of them in full view of an often-vicious public. Just this week, he was caught pretending to be traveling by private jet, when he was actually riding commercial like the rest of us.

But that was only the latest of Bow Wow's losses. Below, a curated list of some of the biggest ones. We couldn't include them all, because who's got that kind of time?

July 2009: Whose Hands Are Those?

In an attempt to prove… something (that he has a girlfriend? that he's sexy? that he wears Polo drawers?), Bow Wow posted a photo to Twitter of someone (possibly model Rosa Acosta, who he was dating at the time) sticking their hand down his pants.

bow wow 1
Image via Twitter

But the photo was roundly mocked for the size of the woman's hands, leading to headlines like “Bow Wow Those Look Like Man Hands Down Your Draws.”

January 2010: Cut It Out, Mom!

Early in 2010, Bow Wow's mom joined Twitter. She then proceeded to do what moms have done throughout time—say stuff that embarrasses their kids.

Mom twitter 1
Image via Twitter
Mom Twitter 2
Image via Twitter

Bow Wow said he was going to make his mom delete her account. And then it all went wrong. Fans were clearly on her side, rather than his. Finally, desperate, he said he would delete his own account unless his mom got rid of hers. And she responded in a thread-killing, quietly vicious, perfectly mom-like way.

mom twitter 3
Image via Twitter

June 2013: The Vine 

Bow Wow published a quick Vine of him walking in front of a bunch of children. “They don't know it's me. Oh shit,” he exclaimed. He then laughed as if he was getting away with something. A bemused internet quickly responded, saying that the kids don't know who he is because, well, they don't know who he is.

 

January 2014: Rent-A-Stunter

In early 2014, Bow Wow was in Los Angeles for Grammy weekend. He drove around in a Ferrari, and made sure to post plenty of pictures to social media of himself in the driver's seat. The captions implied that the car was his.

Bow Wow car 1
Image via Instagram

Well, the rental car company didn't exactly appreciate that. They decided to claim some credit, and give Bow Wow another round of bad press in the process.

bow wow car 2
Image via Instagram

December 2015: The (Mistaken) Origins of the Dab

By late 2015, Bow Wow had just about enough of dabbing. Everyone—football players, teenagers, politicians—were doing it, and they didn't know where it came from. 

As it turned out, neither did Bow Wow. He recorded a long, confusing message attempting to tie dabbing to smoking weed. 

And he was immediately and roundly mocked, including by the dance's true originators.

February 2016: The Dangers of Live TV

Live television can be dangerous for even the most experienced performers. And Bow Wow met his match during the 2016 Grammys, when he messed up the end of the pre-show not once, but twice.

April 2016: Fake Money

Bow Wow posted a shot on Instagram of a bunch of money. Typical rapper stuff, right? Well, not when the photo was actually taken by a stock trader named Timothy Sykes. Sykes called out Bow Wow on IG, and the two had a not-particularly-memorable back-and-forth involving fake watches. But the damage was already done to what was left of Bow Wow's reputation. 

March 2017: Going at the First Couple

In March of this year, because everything is terrible, Snoop Dogg was feuding with the President of the United States. Bow Wow came to the defense of his mentor Snoop in perhaps the most awkward, sexist, terrible way possible. He said, in a thankfully now-deleted Tweet, “Ayo @realDonaldTrump shut your punk ass up talking shit about my uncle @SnoopDogg before we pimp your wife and make her work for us.”

The above events are really only the beginning of Bow Wow's puzzling public L's. There was his beef with, of all people, Funkmaster Flex. There were the incredibly confusing remarks he made about voting and his family history, or something (no, seriously, read this and see if you can figure out what the hell he was talking about). There was time he announced his retirement from rap, only to be met with a hail of “I thought you were retired already!”-type comments. Oh, and that time he dropped the hottest mixtape of 2007…ten years too late.

If this week's tale of the fake private plane is any indication, we're likely to see stories like these for a long time to come.

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