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More Wahala: Rick Ross sued Ffor not paying booking agency

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rick rossRick Ross finds himself back in  According to TMZ, a lawsuit has been filed against Rick Ross by international celebrity procurement talent agency, Total Access Talent for unpaid commission for tour dates the agency set up. The suit alleges Rick Ross hired the company to book a month’s worth of Florida shows but failed to pay the 10% commission. Total Access Talent asserts that Ross owes at least $171,000. Rick Ross has used the Miami based talent agency since 2004. This new lawsuit appears a week after Reebok decided to cut ties with the Maybach Music Group boss following a public outcry over his lyrics on Rocko’s “U.O.E.N.O” record. According to TMZ, reports claim Ross could lose between $3.5 million and $5 million due to the endorsement deal’s dissolution.]]>

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Tyla, Ice Spice, Ms. Lauryn Hill & YG Marley join the performance lineup for BET Awards 2024

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BET announces Culture’s Biggest Night, “BET Awards” 2024, just got bigger with the addition of Tyla, Ice Spice and Ms. Lauryn Hill & YG Marley, hitting the stage with previously announced performers GloRilla, Latto, Muni Long, Sexyy Red, Shaboozey, and Victoria Monét. Additionally, Tanner Adell will perform on the BET Amplified stage. Academy Award® nominated, and Golden Globe® winning actor, author, director, producer, and philanthropist Taraji P. Henson will return to host, and GRAMMY® award-winning global entertainment icon USHER will be honored with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement BET Award. BET Awards” 2024, will air LIVE on Monday, 1 July, 2024, at 2:00 am WAT/3:00am CAT on BET Africa  DStv Channel 129 and GOtv Channel 21.
“BET Awards,” has been the #1 cable award show among all adults 18-49 for the last three consecutive years and is the #1 cable award show among Black adults 18-49 for the 22nd consecutive year (CY02-CY23). “BET Awards” is the ultimate platform to showcase the best, brightest, and most beautiful aspects of the Black experience – honoring the present and future of Black music, creativity, and sportsmanship, by celebrating the culture and being a driving force for social change.
Drake leads “BET Awards” 2024 nominations with an outstanding seven nods, while African global stars, Tyla, Burna Boy, Tems, Ayra Starr, Focalistic, Davido, Lojay, Asake, Tyler ICU, Seyi Vibez, Ayo Edebiri, Damson Idris among others, received nominations across various award categories The official “BET Awards” 2024 nominees were selected by a voting academy of esteemed music industry insiders, performers, and presenters. Click HERE for the complete list of “BET Awards” 2024 nominees.
Vote now for “BET Awards” 2024 Viewer’s Choice Award. Voting ends June 30, 2024, at 6:30 PM PT/ 9:30 PM ET.
BET.com/bet-awards is the official site for “BET Awards” 2024 and is the official source for the latest news and updates about this year’s show. Follow us @BET and @BETAWARDS.
Connie Orlando, EVP of Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy, will oversee and Executive Produce the annual show, with Jamal Noisette, SVP of Tentpoles & Music Community Engagement, to also Executive Produce for BET. Jesse Collins Entertainment is the production company for the show, with Jesse Collins, Dionne Harmon, and Jeannae Rouzan-Clay also serving as Executive Producers.
BET is transforming Culture’s Biggest Night into Culture’s Biggest Week with BET Experience 2024, promising the ultimate in Black culture and entertainment. With a lineup of culture’s most influential artists, including Davido, Cardi B, Gunna, Sexyy Red, The Roots, Common, Queen Latifah, Jungle Brothers, and many more electrifying talent, experts, and tastemakers, the week promises to be one to remember.
Attendees will enjoy unforgettable live performances, comedy shows, culture-shifting conversations, immersive workshops, and much more! Anchoring this year’s Experience is fan-favorite BETX 2024 Fan Fest, a free, all-ages two-day cultural festival taking place at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Friday, June 28, and Saturday, June 29. For more information, visit BETExperience.com.
For more information about BET, visit www.bet.com and follow @BET on social platforms. For more BET news announcements, visit betpressroom.com.
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Moneybagg Yo Releases Highly Anticipated New Album “Speak Now”

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Moneybagg Yo

Today, multi-platinum artist / rapper Moneybagg Yo releases his highly anticipated new album SPEAK NOW. Coming in at 17 tracks, the sprawling project delivers bone-rattling beats and rapid-fire bars as well as a number of superstar collaborations including country icon Morgan Wallen, R&B great Chris Brown, and many more. Listen HERE via CMG/N-Less/Interscope Records.

Today’s record arrives alongside official music video for standout track “TABOO MIAMI”. The Frankie-directed visual matches the energy of the club-ready anthem perfectly, featuring vibrant visual effects and fast cuts of Bagg in various clubs around Miami. Watch HERE.

SPEAK NOW kicks off with “ALL YEAR,” which sets the stage with kinetic beats and white-hot bars. Other standouts include “GANGSTA RELATE” featuring Lil Durk, a somber track exploring the hard knocks that helped shape the hitmaker, and “WHISKEY WHISKEY” featuring Morgan Wallen — a southern hip-hop/country hybrid about drowning sorrows. Recent single “TRYNA MAKE SURE” also stands tall as does just-released “PLAY DA FOOL.” See SPEAK NOW’s full tracklist below.

With the release of SPEAK NOW, Moneybagg Yo re-introduces himself to fans with a diverse, genre-hopping collection of undeniable anthems.

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SPEAK NOW Track-list:

  1. “ALL YEAR”
  2. “SPEAK”
  3. “P RUN”
  4. “TRYNA MAKE SURE”
  5. “TABOO MIAMI”
  6. “FIREPLACE”
  7. “I FEEL IT”
  8. “DRUNK OFF U” feat. Chris Brown
  9. “BUSSIN” feat. Rob49
  10. “TIC TAC TOE”
  11. “GANGSTA RELATE” feat. Lil Durk
  12. “PLAY DA FOOL”
  13. “RICH VIKING”
  14. “ON DET” feat. YTB Fatt
  15. “WHISKEY WHISKEY” feat. Morgan Wallen
  16. “AW SH_T”
  17. “GO GHO$T” feat. Kevo Muney
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US TV Network BronxNet, Taps Ghanaian Filmmaker for Juneteenth Special

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New York-based Ghanaian film director Kobina de Graft-Johnson, is set to have his newly directed series premiered on BronxNet June 19. The series created by both Kobina and Jasmine Patrice White draws on themes like the immigrant experience and body positivity, with an aspirational narrative. The series highlights the diversity and commonality of immigrant experiences, beauty standards, and desires for success and acceptance

De Graft-Johnson and White are part of a cohort of ten BronxNet artists, supported by the artist economy development initiative, “Creatives Rebuild New York” (CRNY), and are currently in the process of further developing the series. Starring as Ashanti, a plus-sized beauty and a first-generation Ghanaian born to immigrant parents, navigating the waters between her parents’ idea of career success, and her own vision for her life, is actress Abena Mensah-Bonsu.

Kobina de Graft-Johnson is a star in the independent film community both in New York and Ghana, and his work has been praised for its unique perspective and powerful storytelling. As a visionary and creative leader of Anibok Studios, building a catalog of over 100 films that are shaping the narrative of Ghanaian culture through films like “Barely Made” that won the Best TV and Web Series award at the 2023 London Pan African Film Festival.

Kobina de Graft-Johnson,

Kobina de Graft-Johnson,

Of the new show, BronxNet executive director Michael Max Knobbe said, “BronxNet provides storytellers and media makers with the tools, technologies, and platforms to create and launch original new shows that connect us, like this dramatic series about the African immigrant experience in NYC, #Stressed.” He added, “We congratulate local artists Kobina and Jasmine on the completion of their pilot episode of #Stressed and extend our thanks to Creatives Rebuild New York for making it possible.”

BronxNet is the independent nonprofit organization serving the people of The Bronx with media production training, access to technology, and television channels. BronxNet programs six channels – 2133, 2134, 2135, 2136, 2137 and 2138 on the Verizon Fios system and six channels – 67, 68, 69, 70, 951, and 952 – on the Optimum system in the Bronx. BronxNet’s ultra-local programming helps connect The Bronx with the world while our training programs and partnerships are a part of community development through media.

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The broadcast premiere of #Stressed will take place on Juneteenth, Wednesday, June 19, at 9.30pm on BronxNet channels 67 Optimum/2133 Fios, and at www.bronxnet.tv. 

You can have a first look of the series here!

For more information on BronxNet, visit: www.bronxnet.org.

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#Juneteenth:The Boca Raton Museum of Art presents “Myths, Secrets, Lies, and Truths: Photography from the Doug McCraw Collection”

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The Boca Raton Museum of Art presents “Myths, Secrets, Lies, and Truths: Photography from the Doug McCraw Collection

On view June 12 through October 13, 2024

The exhibition of 100+ works from the Doug McCraw Collection is an original presentation by the Museum, and was curated by Kathleen Goncharov, the Museum’s Senior Curator.

These artists capture moments that transcend boundaries of insight.

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Brother in Arms, by Spider Martin (Archival digital print on exhibition fiber paper), 1965 (Collection of Doug McCraw).

Doug McCraw is the co-founder of one of South Florida’s cultural gems: the FATVillage Arts District which is McCraw’s project that promotes creativity, artist residences, exhibitions, research, and education. McCraw loaned these 100+ works from his collection to the Boca Raton Museum, for this new exhibition.

The Boca Raton Museum of Art is located at 501 Plaza Real in Mizner Park, a shopping, dining, entertainment, residential and arts district in downtown Boca Raton (map and directions).

Following are highlights from the exhibition –

Works by Sheila Pree Bright:

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From her series”Young Americans”

Sheila Pree Bright presents works from her Young Americans series, in which she invited young people, of all backgrounds and in cities across the country, to pose with the flag in ways that felt comfortable (while recording their personal stories of what the flag means to each of them).

Bright wanted this series to focus on diverse young Americans who are new to the voting system, and who are still exploring ideas of what it means to be American. In some ways, this series by Bright may be the most timely of the exhibition, due to the impending elections and the pivotal youth vote.

Shanae Rowland, by Sheila Pree Bright (2007), chromogenic print (from the Collection of Doug McCraw).

Bright has appeared in the 2016 feature-length documentary film “Election Day: Lens Across America.” The artist encouraged her subjects to use their own clothing, props and poses to “give them a platform to speak for themselves.”

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The artist encouraged her subjects to use their own clothing, props and poses to “give them a platform to speak for themselves.”

Bright is often described as a “cultural anthropologist.” She especially wanted to examine the attitudes and values of Millennials/Generation Y, (people born in the 1980s through the late 1990s, most often the children of Baby Boomers).

The photographs in this series respond to negative portrayals of Millennials in our culture. Museumgoers will hear audio recordings alongside each photo, recordings of her subjects expressing their personal feelings toward the flag.

Shawn Ole T. Evangelista, by Sheila Pree Bright (Chromogenic print) 2006.

Works by Spider Martin:

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Spider Martin was an acclaimed newspaper photojournalist known for his iconic photographs taken during the 1960s Civil Rights movement. Martin’s historic images from the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March documented protests by African Americans demanding the right to vote.

While working as a young new photojournalist at The Birmingham News, Martin captured the historic photo Two Minute Warning (pictured below), showing state troopers about to attack peaceful marchers with batons and tear gas, after the marchers crossed Edmund Pettus Bridge from Selma into Dallas County.

The incident was pivotal in the Civil Rights Movement, and is known as Bloody Sunday.

Two Minute Warning Sequence Frame 1, by Spider Martin (Archival digital print on exhibition fiber paper), 1965 (Collection of Doug McCraw).

Three of Martin’s photographs from that day in 1965 were enlarged to serve as the centerpiece for this exhibition, providing a powerful large-scale emphasis that expresses the drama of this critical moment in history.

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They are part of a series of photographs titled Selma Is Now. Martin’s collection contains thousands of photographs, clippings and other notes — much of it previously unpublished before it was acquired by the University of Texas. The producers of the movie Selma used Martin’s photographs to recreate scenes for the film.

From the Spider Martin website Often the target of violence himself, Spider stayed on the scene of these Civil Rights protests when he could have asked for relief from his newspaper editors. His bosses at The Birmingham News released Martin from his assignment after Bloody Sunday, hoping it would all go away if they stopped publishing his photos. But Martin won out his argument to stay on, and with his camera covered these activities day by day, event by event.

Because of his continual presence in and around Selma, Martin and his camera became easily identifiable targets, despised by racists and public officials whose acts of violence and intimidation suddenly were being exposed.

Martin faced beatings and death threats to capture through his lens the most iconic images of a movement which changed a region and a nation. He fought back with his camera, and with photographs that didn’t lie. They appeared in national and international publications and were seen around the world.

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Dr. King himself credited his photos with playing a major role in passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. stating in his quote below:

“Spider, we could have marched, we could have protested forever, but if it weren’t for guys like you, it would have been for nothing. The whole world saw your pictures. That’s why the Voting Rights Act passed.” — Quote by Martin Luther King, 1965

Brother in Arms, by Spider Martin (Archival digital print on exhibition fiber paper), 1965 (Collection of Doug McCraw).

Works by Hank Willis Thomas:

From his series “Unbranded: Reflections in Black by Corporate America”

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Hank Willis Thomas is known for exploring American consumer culture, and the history of how corporate imagery in advertising campaigns showed a lack of respect towards African Americans through the years via print advertisements.

His series investigates the subtle and not so subtle ways in which this influential imagery reinforced ideas about race and race relations. Most of the works in this exhibition are from his series titled Unbranded: Reflections in Black by Corporate America.

(Note to Editors: these photos were not taken by Thomas, he appropriated them from magazine advertisements from the 1960s through the early 2000s. When you caption these images in your story, please use the full captions, including the earlier year of each original image advertisement, and the later year that Thomas then re-conceptualized each image).

 

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Slack Power, by Hank Willis Thomas (Lightjet print). Original ad photo from 1969; re-conceptualized by Thomas in 2006 (from the Collection of Doug McCraw).

The series explores fifty years of ads that targeted a Black audience or featured Black subjects. Ads starting in 1968 (the year of social and political protest and the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.), through 2008 (the year when the first African American president was elected).

When looking at these works, the viewer quickly experiences a mind-twist when realizing that Thomas did not actually take these photos. Instead, he has appropriated the images from outdated magazine pages and removed all of the wording, product names, slogans and logos from each ad, keeping only the original photos. This makes the images stand out even more.

Now there’s a doll that can make a real difference in her life: Shani, the first Black Barbie, by Hank Willis Thomas (Lightjet print). Original ad photo from 1991; this ad photo was re-conceptualized by Thomas in 2007 (from the Collection of Doug McCraw).

The end result is a re-imagined version of each original ad, showing how white ad executives at the time got away with creating these depictions for marketing campaigns.

Writing in The Guardian, the art critic Arwa Mahdawi stated: “Thomas’s work ‘unbrands’ advertising: stripping away the commercial context, and leaving the exposed image to speak for itself.”

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Thomas then pairs a befitting title for each re-imagined work, further underscoring how disrespect, stereotypes ‒ and, in some cases, outright racism ‒ were prevalent in advertising aimed at Black Americans.

Celebrate your Specialness, by Hank Willis Thomas (Lightjet print). Original ad photo from 1997; this ad photo was re-conceptualized by Thomas in 2008 (from the Collection of Doug McCraw).

Some of his apt titles include: “Slack Power, 1969/2006,” “Now there’s a doll that can make a real difference in her life: Shani, the first black Barbie, 1991/2007,” “Celebrate your Specialness, 1997/2008,” and “The Mandingo of Sandwiches, 1977/2007.”

The two years in each title represent first the year of the original ad, followed by the year that Thomas re-conceptualized each image.

The Mandingo of Sandwiches, by Hank Willis Thomas (Lightjet print). Original ad photo from 1977; this ad photo was re-conceptualized by Thomas in 2007 (from the Collection of Doug McCraw).

About the Artists

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Hank Willis Thomas (b. 1976) is a conceptual artist based in Brooklyn whose work focuses on identity and popular culture. He was born in Plainfield, New Jersey and attended the Duke Ellington School of the Arts as a Museum Studies student. He received a BFA in Photography and Africana studies in 1986 and was awarded honorary doctorates from the Maryland Institute College of Art and the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts.

Thomas’ work has been exhibited at the International Center of Photography, NYC; Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain; Musee du qua Branly, Paris; Hong Kong Arts Centre; and the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Netherlands, among others.

Thomas is included in the public collections of the Museum of Modern Art (New York); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York), Whitney Museum of American Art (New York); Brooklyn Museum; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; and the National Museum of Art, Washington, D.C. among others. Awards include the Guggenheim Fellowship (2018), AGO Photography Prize (2017), and the Soros Equality Fellowship (2017). Thomas is a member of the New York City Public Design Commission.

James “Spider” Martin (1939-2003) was an American photojournalist best known for his documentation of the American Civil Rights Movements, in particular, 1965’s Selma to Montgomery marches. He was born in Fairfield, Alabama. At 5’2”, he was nicknamed “spider” as he would climb trees and church towers to obtain optimal angles for his photographs.

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Martin’s photographs were published in major national and international publications, including: Life Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, Time Magazine, Der Spiegel, Paris Match, and more. His photographs are in many permanent collections including the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, National Museum of American History and Culture, Washington, D.C., and the Dolph Briscoe Center for American Art in Austin, TX.

Sheila Pree Bright (b. 1967) is an Atlanta-based, award-winning photographer known for portraying large-scale works that combine a wide-range knowledge of contemporary culture. She received a BS from the University of Missouri in 1998. She moved to Atlanta in 1998, and received an MFA from Georgia State University in 2003.

She created a “clean room” in the museum – an enclosed, transparent box with two holes equipped with gloves used by the viewer to flip through a blank journal that visually transforms into a magic book and then into a spy craft technical manual before one’s very eyes.

In 2006, Bright was awarded the Center Prize at the Santa Fe Center of Photography, and had her first solo show at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta in 2008 which featured the series Young Americans.

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Her work has also been shown at The Wadsworth Atheneum of Art, in Hartford, CT and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, OH. Bright’s work is included in the collections of National Museum of African American History, Washington, D.C.; The BET Collection, NYC; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; de Saisset Museum, Santa Clare University, Sata Clare, CA; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland KS; The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT; The Paul Jones Collection, Birmingham AL; and Spellman Museum of Fine Art, Atlanta, among others.

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Recording Academy Announces Global Expansion Efforts in Africa and the Middle East

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The Recording Academy, the organization behind the GRAMMY Awards, is embarking on a path to extend its efforts to support music creators on a global scale. The Academy has agreements with Ministries of Cultures and key stakeholders across the Middle East and Africa to collaborate on a framework to bolster the Academy’s presence and services in these rapidly growing music regions.

“This is exciting because music is one of humanity’s greatest natural resources,” said Harvey Mason jr., CEO of the Recording Academy. “It is critical that the people who dedicate themselves to creating music have support, resources and opportunities, no matter where they are from.”

For the past two years, the Academy’s leaders have traveled throughout these regions, participated in listening sessions, received high-level briefings, tours, demonstrations, and obtained insight directly from both the governmental ministries and music creators driving innovation in these markets.

The Academy is working with the Ministries of Culture in Kenya, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Nigeria, the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi for the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), and the Ministry of Sports, Arts and Culture in South Africa. Additionally, MOUs have been signed with Ghana and the Ivory Coast. Through these collaborations, and in alignment with our mission, the Academy looks to explore several key initiatives, including:

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Championing music creators at all levels, providing them with a platform and advocacy.

Empowering creators through enhanced training. Through its online learning platform, GRAMMY GO™, the Academy will look to provide educational programs and resources specifically tailored to the needs of music creators in these regions.

Producing original content that celebrates the rich musical heritage and dynamic emerging scenes of Africa and the Middle East.

Enhancing support for existing members. Cross-cultural learnings will benefit all music creators, and a presence in these rapidly growing music regions would provide numerous benefits to the Recording Academy’s current and future members.

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Advocating for strong Intellectual Property (IP) legislation and protections for music creators.

Fueling the music economy by collaborating with partners to develop and strengthen the creative economy in Africa and the Middle East.

As a cornerstone of this initiative, the Academy will publish a series of reports, highlighting the Academy’s research and insights into these music markets.

“The Recording Academy is dedicated to supporting music creators around the world,” said Panos A. Panay, Recording Academy President. “Our expansion efforts into these fast-growing regions reflect our commitment to fostering a truly global music community, where creators at every stage of their careers and from every corner of the world have the resources and support they need to thrive.”

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This exploration into the Middle East and Africa is only the first phase of plans to support music creators abroad and comes the same year the Academy celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Latin GRAMMY Awards®, and months after Seville hosted the Latin GRAMMY Awards, the first GRAMMY Awards show to be held overseas. Also, last year, the Recording Academy partnered with the U.S. State Department on an initiative to promote peace through music.

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Missing Malawi plane found, VP, ex-First Lady, others reportedly dead

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Malawi’s President, Lazarus Chakwera delivered the devastating news on Tuesday that his Vice President Saulos Chilima, along with nine other passengers, had tragically lost their lives in a plane crash.  (more…)

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