Tag : love

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Every Hip-Hop Artist With Over 1 Million Monthly Spotify Listeners

In March, Spotify reached the 50 million paid subscriber plateau. Along with their unpaid user base, the most popular streaming platform in the world currently boasts over 100 million active users. Though a vast number hip-hop fans prefer competing subscription services like Apple Music (because its exclusives) and TIDAL (because Jay Z) over Spotify, not to mention free options like Audiomack and SoundCloud, Spotify will likely remain the king the streaming castle for the foreseeable future. 

Spotify owes its success to a number factors, most notably a clean user interface and an expansive music library—save for most Jay Z's catalog, along with Dr. Dre and a handful others—but its music curation, millions playlists and daily updated charts are undoubtedly what has helped the platform grow over time while retaining its user base.

One chart that doesn't exist, though, is a ranked list all artists by monthly listeners, which is one the several metrics, along with total plays and plays by country, that is made available to the public. (It's important to note that neither Apple Music nor TIDAL discloses artist, song or album analytics to their paying customers.)

For several years now, people have been asking Spotify to deliver a chart that provides an up-to-the-minute ranking artists by their total monthly listeners, but to date, they have only fered Top 200 and Viral 50 charts, which users can filter by country and date.

That changes today.

Below you will find a list every hip-hop artist—as well as a number R&B artists whose sound and image are synonymous with hip-hop—that currently has over 1 million monthly listeners on Spotify, along with their top streamed song on the platform.

To make your browsing experience more friendly, we have separated artists into four tiers based on their total monthly listeners: "We Gonna Make It" (1 to 4.9M), "FuckWithMeYouKnowIGotIt" (5 to 9.9M), "Kinda Like a Big Deal" (10 to 19.9M) and, finally, "I Got The Keys" (20M+). 

While running through the list, it's important to keep four things in mind:

1. If your favorite artist doesn't appear, it's because they do not currently (as May 19, 2017) have over 1 million monthly listeners. Upset? Get to streaming.
2. Artists like Jay Z (7.9M), Beyoncé (17.1M) and Dr. Dre (6.2M) have not made their entire catalog available on Spotify because their stakes in competing streaming services. If they did, however, their monthly listener totals would be higher.
3. We're confident we found every single artist that meets our minimum criteria standard—at least 1 million monthly listeners—but there's a strong likelihood we did miss a few artists. We will update accordingly moving forward, we promise.
4. This is a fun exercise. Please keep this in mind as these numbers are constantly updating.

And here we go...

"I Got The Keys" (20M+)

38M        Drake (“One Dance” - 1.2B)
31M        Kendrick Lamar (“HUMBLE.” - 217M)
29M        Nicki Minaj (“Only” - 180M)
28M        The Weeknd (“Can’t Feel My Face” - 703M)
27M        Future (“Low Life” - 271M)
26M        Ty Dolla $ign (“Swalla” - 157M)
25M        Rihanna (“Work” - 674M)
24M        DJ Khaled (“For Free” - 118M)
20M        Kanye West (“FourFiveSeconds” - 380M)
20M        G-Eazy (“Me, Myself & I” - 600M)

"Kinda Like a Big Deal" (10 to 19.9M)

19M        Pitbull (“Timber” - 430M)
17M        Beyonce (“Halo” - 280M)
17M        Eminem (“Lose Yourself” - 351M)
17M        Wiz Khalifa (“See You Again” - 648M)
15M        Lil Wayne (“A Milli” - 105M)
15M        Big Sean (“Bounce Back” - 210M)
15M        Kehlani (“Gangsta” - 82M)
14M        Chris Brown ("Five More Hours" - 326M)
14M        Migos (“Bad and Boujee” - 280M)
13.9M      Post Malone (“White Iverson” - 276M)
13.8M      French Montana (“No Shopping” - 63M)
13.3M      Lil Uzi Vert (“XO Tour Llif3” - 106M)
13.1M      Khalid (“Location” - 154M)
13.0M      KYLE (“iSpy” - 223M)
12.4M      Travis Scott (“Antidote” - 193M)
12.3M      Rae Sremmurd (“Black Beatles” - 383M)
11.7M      Logic (“1-800-273-8255” - 29M)
10.9M      Machine Gun Kelly (“Bad Things” - 247M)
10.5M      J. Cole (“No Role Modelz” - 307M)
10.4M      Gucci Mane (“Both” - 59M)
10.1M      Young Thug (“pick up the phone” - 154M)
10.0M      Kodak Black (“Tunnel Vision” - 109M)
10.0M      Desiigner (“Panda” - 590M)

"FuckWithMeYouKnowIGotIt" (5 to 9.9M)

9.8M        2 Chainz (“Watch Out” - 75M)
9.1M        D.R.A.M. (“Broccoli” - 343M)
9.1M        Wale (“My PYT” - 57M)
8.7M        Snoop Dogg (“Young, Wild & Free” - 298M)
8.7M        Childish Gambino (“Redbone” - 125M)
8.7M        Chance The Rapper (“No Problem” - 172M)
8.5M        Jeremih (“Don’t Tell ‘Em” - 191M)
8.5M        Ne-Yo ("Time Our Lives" - 376M)
8.3M        PARTYNEXTDOOR (“Run Up” - 169M)
8.0M        Notorious B.I.G (“Hypnotize” - 130M)
8.0M        Frank Ocean (“Thinkin Bout You” - 192M)
7.9M        Jay Z (“Niggas in Paris” - 351M)
7.8M        50 Cent (“In Da Club” - 169M)
7.7M        Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (“Thrift Shop” - 358M)
7.5M        Tyga (“Ayo” - 243M)
7.5M        Fetty Wap (“Trap Queen” - 522M)
7.1M        ASAP Rocky (“Fucking Problems” - 244M)
7.1M        Mike WiLL Made-It (“23” - 99M)
7.0M        Outkast (“Hey Ya!” - 214M)
7.0M        Trey Songz ("Slow Motion" - 162M)
6.9M        Bryson Tiller (“Don’t” - 279M)
6.9M        Kid Ink (“Promise” - 103M)
6.8M        Rick Ross (“Purple Lamborghini” - 116M)
6.7M        A Boogie Wit da Hoodie (“My Shit” - 57M)
6.3M        Kid Cudi (“Pursuit Happiness” - 157M)
6.2M        B.o.B (“Airplanes” - 122M)
6.2M        Russ (“What They Want” - 97M)
6.2M        Dr. Dre (“The Next Episode” - 185M)
6.2M        Meek Mill (“All Eyes on You” - 156M)
6.0M        Lil Yachty (“One Night” - 99M)
5.9M        T.I. (“Whatever You Like” - 92M)
5.8M        2Pac (“Ambitionz Az A Ridah” - 83M)
5.8M        Sage The Gemini ("Now and Later" - 155M)
5.7M        Yo Gotti (“Down in the DM” - 100M)
5.7M        ScHoolboy Q (“Man the Year” - 115M)
5.6M        YG (“My N*gga” - 122M) “FDT” doesn’t show up in Popular]
5.6M        Joey Badass (“Devastated” - 75M)
5.5M        21 Savage (“X” - 162M)
5.5M        Mac Miller (“Donald Trump” - 114M)
5.5M        XXXTentacion (“Look At Me!” - 63M)
5.4M        NAV (“Some Way” - 30M)
5.2M        Fat Joe ("All The Way Up" - 105M)
5.1M        Metro Boomin (“X” - 162M)
5.0M        The Game (“100” - 66M)
5.0M        A$AP Ferg (“Work (Remix)” - 99M)
5.0M        Tinie Tempah (“Girls Like” - 168M)

"We Gonna Make It" (1 to 4.9M)

4.8M        Tory Lanez (“LUV” - 159M)
4.8M        Kevin Gates (“2 Phones” - 154M)
4.7M        Busta Rhymes (“Don’t Cha” - 73M)
4.7M        Aminé (“Caroline” - 217M)
4.6M        Lil Jon (“Turn Down For What” - 256M)
4.6M        Madeintyo (“Uber Everywhere” - 109M)
4.6M        T-Pain (“Buy U A Drank” - 74M)
4.2M        DMX (“X Gon Give It To You” - 124M)
4.2M        Lupe Fiasco (“The Show Goes On” - 65M)
4.1M        6LACK (“PRBLMS” - 47M)
4.1M        Stormzy ("Shut Up" - 52M)
4.1M        Juicy J (“Bandz a Make Her Dance” - 55M)
4.1M        Ludacris (“My Chick Bad” - 31M)
4.1M        Playboi Carti (“wokeuplikethis” - 15M)
4.1M        Miguel (“Adorn” - 99M)
4.1M        DJ Mustard ("In My Room" - 110M)
4.0M        Pusha T (“Trouble on My Mind” - 31M)
4.0M        PnB Rock (“Selfish” - 66M)
3.8M        Ayo & Teo ("Rolex" - 62M)
3.8M        Omarion ("Post To Be" - 182M)
3.7M        Rob $tone ("Chill Bill" - 194M)
3.7M        Waka Flocka Flame (“No Hands” - 98M)
3.5M        Roy Woods (“Drama” - 62M)
3.5M        Remy Ma ("All The Way Up" - 105M)
3.4M        will.i.am (“Scream & Shout” - 198M)
3.4M        Diddy (“Ill Be Missing You - 3.4M)
3.4M        Rich Homie Quan (“Flex (Ooh, Ooh, Ooh)” - 161M)
3.3M        Missy Elliott (“Get Your Freak On” - 53M)
3.2M        Tee Grizzley ("First Day Out" - 31M)
3.1M        YFN Lucci (“Key to the Streets” - 36M)
3.1M        ASAP Mob (“Yamborgini High” - 33M)
3.0M        Nas (“If I Ruled The World” - 47M)
3.0M        Ice Cube (“It Was a Good Day” - 90M)
3.0M        O.T. Genasis (“Cut It” - 107M)
3.0M        SZA (“Childs Play” - 28M)
2.9M        Soulja Boy (“Crank That” - 74M)
2.9M        Young Money (“Trophies” - 88M)
2.7M        Jidenna (“Classic Man” - 109M)
2.7M        Jeezy (“Put On” - 54M)
2.7M        N.W.A (“Straight Outta Compton” - 79M)
2.7M        August Alsina ("I Luve This Shit" - 48M)
2.6M        GoldLink (“Crew” - 14M)
2.6M        Jhené Aiko (“The Worst” - 67M)
2.5M        Young M.A ("OOOUUU" - 112M)
2.4M        Ja Rule (“Always on Time” - 42M)
2.4M        Lil Dicky (“Save Dat Money” - 94M)
2.4M        Fabolous (“Into You” - 22M)
2.4M        Young Dolph (“Play Wit Yo Bitch” - 4M)
2.4M        ILoveMakonnen (“Tuesday” - 116M)
2.3M        Big Boi (“Shutterbugg” - 10M)
2.2M        Chief Keef (“Love Sosa” - 51M)
2.1M        Ugly God ("Water" - 54M)
2.1M        Fort Minor (“Remember The Name” - 146M)
2.1M        A Tribe Called Quest (“Can I Kick It?” - 44M)
2.1M        Ying Yang Twins (“Get Low” - 85M)
2.1M        K Camp (“Comfortable” - 55M)
2.0M        DJ Drama (“Wishing” - 44M)
2.0M        Tech N9ne (“Hood Go Crazy” - 33M)
2.0M        Wu-Tang Clan (“C.R.E.A.M.” - 52M)
2.0M        Nebu Kiniza ("Gassed Up" - 53M)
1.9M        Lil' Kim (“Lady Marmalade” - 58M)
1.9M        Vic Mensa (“U Mad” - 33M)
1.8M        Anderson .Paak (“Am I Wrong” - 19M)
1.8M        Lloyd Banks (“You Don’t Know” - 46M)
1.8M        Tyler, The Creator (“Yonkers” - 54M)
1.8M        Dae Dae ("What U Mean" 36M)
1.7M        E-40 (“Choices (Yup)” - 31M)
1.7M        Warren G (“Regulate” - 84M)
1.7M        Denzel Curry (“Ultimate” - 62M)
1.7M        Lloyd ("You" - 23M)
1.6M        The Roots ("The Seed 2.0" - 39M) 
1.6M        Bobby Shmurda (“Hot N*gga” - 134M)
1.6M        Eve (“Let Me Blow Ya Mind” - 59M)
1.6M        Yelawolf (“Till Its Gone” - 54M)
1.6M        Vince Staples (“Norf Norf” - 30M)
1.6M        Action Bronson ("Baby Blue" - 48M)
1.5M        Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony (“Tha Crossroads” - 31M)
1.5M        Mobb Deep (“Shock Ones Pt. II” - 47M)
1.5M        Eazy-E (“Real Muthaphuckin G’s - 22M)
1.5M        Hoodie Allen (“No Interruption” - 52M)
1.5M        Common (“Glory” - 26M)
1.5M        Lil Durk (“Like Me” - 25M)
1.5M        Isaiah Rashad (“Free Lunch” - 12M)
1.5M        Skizzy Mars - ("Do You There" - 15M)
1.5M        dvsn (“Hallucinations” - 26M)
1.5M        BJ The Chicago Kid (“Turnin’ Me Up” - 17M)
1.5M        NF ("Grindin" - 19M)
1.4M        Skepta ("Shutdown" - 35M)
1.4M        Twista (“Slow Jamz” - 20M)
1.4M        Bankroll Fresh (“Walked In” - 46M)
1.4M        Ab-Soul (“Illuminate” - 13M)
1.4M        DeJ Loaf (“Back Up” - 77M)
1.4M        Eric Bellinger ("Valet" - 59M)
1.3M        Mike Stud ("These Days" - 24M)
1.3M        D12 (“My Band” - 27M)
1.3M        Rich Gang (“Lifestyle” - 93M)
1.3M        Method Man (“Da Rockwilder” - 26M)
1.3M        Cam’ron (“Hey Ma” - 33M)
1.3M        Ace Hood (“Bugatti” - 56M)
1.3M        Majid Jordan (“My Love” - 22M)
1.2M        Rich Chigga ("Dat $tick" - 26M)
1.2M        LL Cool J (“Doin It” - 21M)
1.2M        Run The Jewels (“Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck)” - 20M)
1.2M        Mos Def (“Ms. Fat Booty” - 35M)
1.2M        Syd (“YOU’RE THE ONE” - 9M)
1.2M        Ray J ("Sexy Can I" - 28M)
1.1M        Three 6 Mafia (“Stay Fly” - 17M)
1.1M        Bow Wow (“Shortie Like Mine” - 15M)
1.1M        Chingy (“Right Thurr” - 25M)
1.1M        Hopsin (“Ill Mind Hopsin 5” - 30M)
1.1M        Earl Sweatshirt (“Chum” - 27M)
1.1M        Lil Pump ("Flex Like Ouu" - 5M)
1.1M        Lecrae ("All I Need Is You" - 15M)
1.0M        Andy Mineo ("You Can't Stop Me" - 25M)
1.0M        Q-Tip (“A Little Party Never Killed Nobody” - 101M)
1.0M        Smino (“blkswn” - 2M)
1.0M        Freddie Gibbs (“Crushed Glass” - 810K)
1.0M        Dave East (“Wrote My Way Out” - 5.4M)
1.0M        Bad Meets Evil (“Lighters” - 57M)
1.0M        Danny Brown (“Grown Up” - 24M)
1.0M        Mick Jenkins (“Jazz” - 15M)
1.0M        Juvenile (“Back That Azz Up” - 22M)
1.0M        Plies (“Ran Off On The Plug Twice” - 21M)

Like this article? DJBooth is committed to quality music journalism, never clickbait. You can join us by downloading our app or following us on Facebook or Twitter.

[hupso]
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Kid Cudi Said My Writing is Worthless, So I Wrote About It

It's Friday night. I'm sitting in a circle  friends discussing the comments Kid Cudi made surrounding the state hip-hop. (What do you do with your Friday nights?) A few hours earlier, I wrote an article on the subject that wouldn’t be published until Monday, and I decided to pre-trial my opinion.

As much as I thought about what I had written, not once did I believe the article would reach Kid Cudi, and it was almost unimaginable that he'd respond. He’s pretty famous, million-plus followers on Twitter, and probably a plate full business to deal with to start the week.

Fast forward to Monday, the article is out and I’m on the way to my parent's house to give my mom a ride up the street. I check my phone and notice a Twitter notification with a mention from Kid Cudi. Admittedly, I’m excited; he’s acknowledging the article and potentially has something to say.

My excitement turned to a surreal shock when I read the message: 

Kid Cudi Said My Writing is Worthless, So I Wrote About It

I didn’t know what to say. Do I hit him with a meme? A gif? If there's a protocol here, I don't know it. I decided to be respectful and say, “I disagree, but thank you for sharing your 'opinion'.”

I RT’d his comment, so immediately, my followers are beginning to lose their shit. For some reason, I thought that would be the end our conversation.

To my surprise, Scott had more to say. “Like I said, your words hold no weight here. Not anywhere on this planet. Know this about yourself,” he tweeted.

When it comes to my craft, I’ve never been so disrespected. Kid Cudi wrote that. Kid Cudi. The voice all the lonely, depressed and outcast kids told me I’m worthless. This is the same guy that made A Kid Name Cudi and Man on the Moon, two tapes that I held dear because their impact during my high school years. I watched his come up, cheered for his success, and supported his releases.

What was I supposed to say? I honestly had no idea.

Before walking out the door I replied, “Words are my medium. So again, I completely disagree. I’ll continue to use them to get my point across.

I RT’d his second message before getting on the road. My phone is face down, shaking enough to be diagnosed with Parkinson's. Twitter is going crazy, my text messages are filling up, but mom is in the passenger and would have a heart attack if I attempted to text and drive. My mind is racing faster than the traffic, trying to comprehend why he was so obviously irate. Maybe I wouldn’t have been shocked if the piece was slanderous; an attempt to get a rise out him for pageviews, but that wasn’t the case. I was sincere in my rebuttal, and yet my thoughts were met with belittlement and utter disrespect.

By the time I had dropped f my mom, Cudi had deleted the tweets. I can only guess this wasn’t the “message” he wants hip-hop to receive.

Well, I heard it loud and clear. 

His message is that my words are meaningless. His message is that his fame makes him omnipotent and his opinion shouldn’t be questioned by a “sideline nigga.” I was such a fan his come up story, but that was when I was a just a listener and he was just an artist. Now I feel like his music is ruined for me. I can’t separate the man from the musician; he just took a giant shit on my art form, my self-expression.   

I’ve always been pretty fearless with what I choose to write, my fingers are moved by passion, not by name or stature. Now, though, I see how a reaction like this can change a writer's outlook. Especially in the age social media, when the barriers between writer and artist are so small (case in point), writers can prit by getting on the artist's good side, keeping them in a positive light, and reaping the benefits. I couldn’t do it, not without feeling dirty and vile. I’m not for sale, no amount RTs or pageviews can change that.

The relationship rappers have with writers has been more like a dysfunctional marriage for a long time. The closer a writer and rapper are the more they will love you when the words are in their favor, but the moment you write something displeasing, it’s a sign disloyalty. You become a Brutus, and they react accordingly.

After reading articles like, “Irate Rappers Give Journalists A Combat Beat” and “Mad Rappers: Wale, Complex and the History Violence in Hip-Hop Journalism,” it gave me a glimpse at how unpredictable the publishing a story can be. This was before social media and before artists could email in all-caps and send out their frustrations. We see more dialogue now because the digital platforms that connect us, but a few petty words on Twitter are nothing compared to having an irate rapper in your face, challenging you on your perspective, or beating you for it. This was certainly not that.

But who wants to feel like their opinion is being held at gunpoint? As a writer, you’re cheating yourself and your readers if you decide to be biased for the sake relationships and comfortability. If a piece is written without being disrespectful to the artist's craft, that artist doesn't have to agree, but they do have to respect the writer's craft the same.

I understand that trolls exist and artists could be on edge because how much negativity they receive every day, verbal or otherwise. Same with bloggers who will write pieces to ruffle feathers in hopes a traffic increase; they’re playing in oil while smoking cigarettes. Honestly, not every submission will be met with acclaim, not every review will be five mics and not every thought piece will shine your shit and pamper your ideals. But in the current climate integrity is being strangled; the pressure saying something honest with potential backlash, and saying something outlandish for the hope backlash, will only continue adding issues upon the issues.

As I told Kid Cudi, my words are my medium, and I’ll continue to use them to get my point across. No one is here to stroke egos or babysit feelings; we are here to deliver our perspectives and further discussions that surround the genre and culture that we love so much. 

My only vow to rappers and readers is that my mind is open, my ears are open, and my words are honest. No tweet, amount money or famous relationship will change that, and I know my fellow DJBooth brethren all carry the same sentiment.

By Yoh, AKA I’m G.O.O.D., aka @Yoh31

Like this article? DJBooth is committed to quality music journalism, never clickbait. You can join us by downloading our app or following us on Facebook or Twitter.

[hupso]
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Sydney proposes reforms to protect nightlife- Dancing Astronaut

Sydney’s notorious have had quite a damaging impact on the city’s once flourishing nightlife. Introduced in 2014, the laws force a 1:30 a.m. lockout and 3 a.m. cease-service policy for all nightclubs and bars in central Sydney and the Kings Cross precinct. These laws have been widely criticized by Australians, including esteemed producer , who went on  as a form protest.

The mayor Sydney, Clover Moore, has since decided that the controversial laws are in desperate need reform. “Unfortunately, the lockouts have had a serious impact on Sydney’s cultural life, businesses and our reputation overseas — and while areas like Kings Cross are safer, we know the balance isn’t right yet in terms Sydney’s nightlife.”

The reforms will aim to adopt the agent change principle for residential establishments within 100 metres a music venue. This rule will shift the onus soundproing new installations from club owners to residential developers, and aims to protect the interests the many nightclubs and live music venues in Sydney.

H/T:

Sydney proposes reforms to protect nightlife- Dancing Astronaut[hupso]
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Is Migos Holding Quavo Back From Becoming a Breakout Solo Star?

There’s been an ongoing joke on social media for the last few years that Migos are the male version Destiny’s Child. The comparison has nothing to do with music, and everything to do with Quavo’s undeniable star power.

There's a noticeable popularity surrounding Quavo, people see him as the group's leader, and the member most likely to achieve solo success. Kelly and Michelle were both talented vocalists, key ingredients to what made Destiny's Child such a sensation, but the girls didn’t carry the blinding glow Beyoncé Knowles. She had what cannot be bought, the kind X-factor that can be felt the moment she sings, dances, or even enters a room—the world knew Beyoncé had the radiant shine a future star that would go beyond an all-female singing group.

Quavo too exudes this shine and has the potential to break away from the trio and stand alone in this era rap music.

The group has had a huge influence on today’s sound; their flows and melodies have crawled into the veins trap culture, and it seems right to acclaim Quavo as heir to the trap throne. There’s swagger in his rhymes, charisma in his melodies, and an uncanny ability to turn a phrase into a hit.

During a short, promotional phone video for the Migos’ rap snacks—completely on the fly—Quavo came up with the “Dab Ranch” viral jingle. The video boomed across the internet, the gravitation toward the playful rhyme proving Quavo could be enticing without effort. The freestyle has ficially been made into a song that was recently previewed.

On Christmas, Quavo made a Migos-esque hook about Santa dropping the sack f, and Ducko McFli, one the producers on Mike Will’s Ear Drummers label, added a beat to the video clip, leading to the song accumulating over 43k plays on SoundCloud. Both examples display his innate gift to create captivating internet hits on a whim.

Quavo has outsourced his talents to peers on more than a few occasions. His prowess for hooks can be heard on 2 Chainz’s “Good Drank” and YFN Lucci’s “Key To The Streets”—both feature Quavo Wonder using his Auto-Tune-drenched Southern drawl to make infectious choruses.

One Quavo’s best performances, though, can be found on Travis Scott’s debut album, his feature on “Oh My Dis Side” bringing to light the power his presence. The back-and-forth with Travis is like watching Klay Thompson and Steph Curry take turns draining 3's from beyond the arc. Another winning performance was executed on “Pick Up The Phone”—there’s a chemistry between Scott and Quavo that needs to be explored through a bigger project.

When Chance brought him in on as a feature on Surf, that's when my eyes opened, not only can he stand alone apart from Takef and Offset, but he can also go outside the comfort zone the trap. Young Thug’s  “F Cancer,” G-Eazy’s “Meantime,” Ty Dolla’s “Long Time” and Meek Mill’s “The Difference” are just a few times Quavo appeared without his Migos brethren but brought the same charisma that makes him stand out when they're together. 

Swae Lee, ½ Rae Sremmurd, has also received a mountain requests for solo music. When fans are engrossed with a particular member a group, they turn that admiration into a demand. After the release Culture, I’m certain that Quavo will be hounded to focus solely on himself.

He has solo records out, a few floating around the net, but they don't seem like true solitary efforts, failing to capture his star power like Migo songs and his impactful features. His voice has always been accompanied by others, always someone contributing to a hook or verse. Even though Offset and Takef don’t have the same star quality as Quavo, I feel like the three all contribute to Migos’ enchanting charm.

Recently, during the promo for their album, the Migos read a children's book over the “Bad and Boujee” instrumental while at Power 106. Watching it, seeing how they play f each other, the adding ad libs—the teamwork—is like watching a team scientists in a laboratory. Alone, they would sound silly, but together, there’s a sense comradery, a unified energy that turned a playful task into a magic moment. This same feeling is at the heart their music, the fun comes from the three playing f each other's energy.

It makes me wonder if from the very beginning, could Quavo had made it without Takef and Offset? Honestly, I believe he couldn’t. They're like Huey, Dewey, and Louie—it's hard to imagine the three apart. 

I’ve always been a fan Krayzie Bone. Out all the members Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, I thought his solo career had the most promise. His debut album, Thug Mentality 1999, was well-received and was awarded a Platinum plaque. His sophomore effort Thug on da Line also was met with applause and sold enough to go Gold. But after being featured on Chamillionaire’s ringtone phenomenon “Ridin,” he hasn’t made much an impact in mainstream rap.

You can have style, promise, and charisma but still struggle to find your place when it comes to longevity. Quavo’s potential will likely transition into some solo success, but there's no telling how big he can be alone. Migos are currently the biggest group in rap, they will likely continue to conquer 2017, but splitting up too soon could very well bring to an end a very good thing.

Groups break up, they take breaks, and they explore the possibility standing alone. It took Jeezy leaving Boyz In Da Hood to become the trap star that he is today. It took Lil Wayne being left behind by his Hot Boys brothers to carry Cash Money on his back and become a giant in the rap game. Sometimes, it takes the courage to step out by yourself to realize how big you can become.

There are other examples: The Cool Kids took some time apart, explored the world as solo acts, and came back together. People are excited to see what they do next. Absence will make your fans grow fonder.

Maybe that’s what the Migos should do—separate while they're loved, see what the world fers, and come back together like the trap Voltron to a roar applause. Who knows, maybe Offset and Takef will be the ones to rocket to rap stardom?

Together or apart, there’s no question that Quavo Knowles has enough star power to light up a Christmas tree. If he chooses the path a solo artist, he has all the promise to be the rap industry's next breakout star. 

By Yoh, aka Yohavo Knowles, aka @Yoh31

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Ranking Every Drake Album From Worst to Best

The glow promise and potential radiated by the end Drake’s verse on “Ransom.” The classic loosie was my introduction to the Toronto newcomer; Lil Wayne’s feature encouraged the initial listen, but I went back for the kid who said, “Add until they subtract me, I’ll never be your equal.” He captivated with wit and charisma, providing a first impression that led me to press play every time his name was attached to music posted on blogs.

In 2008, I didn’t expect that I would still be pressing play nine years later―I didn’t expect Drake to become the biggest music sensation since Kanye West―but since “Ransom,” I’ve listened and witnessed him grow and evolve, receive love and loathing, reach new peaks and jump over mountains with each new album. He is everything I never saw him becoming, but I’ve watched every step the way.

More Life is being heralded as a “playlist project,” but it’s safe to also see it as Drake’s seventh commercially released project. Almost every year since 2010, a new Drake project has been given to the world on a silver platter to be devoured. If you include the free mixtapes, the first being Room From Improvement in 2006, it’s been over 10 years since Drake started putting music out to be heard or ignored. For the next 10 years, his career will likely continue to be placed under the microscope―reviewed, criticized, championed, rated―but that is to be expected when you're a generation's biggest star. That title comes with endless conversation, debates, discussions and arguments.

Since discourse about Drake is both our present and it is our future, we decided to rank all Drake’s mixtapes and albums (and "playlists") from his humble beginnings to his latest ferings.

As a disclaimer, it's important to note that, personally, I prefer bars over harmonies and punchlines over melodies, but my favorite version Drake is when his albums balance these two skill sets. Since Drake has always been judged by the duality his rapping and singing post-So Far Gone, we felt it was appropriate to do the same here.


10. Room For Improvement

Ranking Every Drake Album From Worst to Best

Young Drake, the little brother to Little Brother. This is the Drake more influenced by the underground, by backpack rappers more than anyone on the charts. You can hear it in his flow, delivery and even the hooks―on this self-released, DJ Smallz-hosted mixtape Drake was out to truly prove himself as a rhyme slayer in a world full rappers uploading mixtapes to DatPiff and sending them to blogs.

This was the last time fans got a chance to hear Drake rap over a Lupe Fiasco instrumental, or hear him start a song with, “Get in my Slick Rick mode.” There are moments that shine with promise, glimpses an artist who could have been an underground darling, but as the title states, there was room for improvement.

Drake was still discovering himself as an artist―still finding his voice (at times he seems to be rapping in a library), searching for the pen a memorable songwriter and discovering the sound he could call his own. Drake wasn’t completely lost, but he had yet to find himself in the music.

There’s a sense nostalgia if you want to hear what Drake would sound like as a backpacker, but most the music doesn’t age well. 

Highlights: “A.M. 2 P.M.,” “Come Winter,” City Is Mine”

9. What a Time To Be Alive (w/ Future)

Ranking Every Drake Album From Worst to Best

Drake's collaborative project with Atlanta’s most renowned lean-sipping wizard is highlighted with booming trap anthems, but is mostly dominated by Future’s enthralling presence; Drake is a visitor on What a Time To Be Alive instead sharing the glowing spotlight. There’s a lack balance to truly make their union Shaq and Kobe, they’re more like Will and Carlton on the first season The Fresh Prince Bel-Air.

The production is a blessing―all the right architects were brought in to build the perfect foundation for some infectious records―and the project is easy on the ears, but it doesn't leave the listener with a strong desire to revisit as time goes by. What a Time To Be Alive is the Big Mac Drake’s catalog―sounds good when starving for a quick burger, but there are far better food options in his discography, and the same can be said about Future.

But hey, some days you just want a Big Mac, a large fry and a sweet tea to calm your hunger for junk food. 

Highlights: “Digital Dash,” “Diamonds Dancing,” “30 For 30 Freestyle”

8. Views

Ranking Every Drake Album From Worst to Best

Drake’s commercial behemoth: Views dominated charts and streams, and transcended him to the top both the rap and pop mountains but is the one album lacking the most luster in his catalog. Views is bloated with too many records, is long-winded in length, and struggles to maintain any kind captivation from beginning to end. It's enjoyable in small doses, especially sonically, but Drake was the anchor that truly dragged the ship down―some his most cringeworthy, corny raps can be found sprinkled across the 1 hour and 21-minute runtime.

Even when the music is superb―warm dancehall, quiet storm R&B and sugary pop make for some noticeable songs―people still look to Drake for rapping, and the raps on Views fell below the bar he set for himself at the beginning his career.

There’s a hollowness if you're seeking soul and nothing but boasting and bragging if you prefer painfully honest and sincere. While I liked the idea Views, and I enjoyed most the songs, as an album, as an entire body work, it is the Titantic―spectacular, grandiose, larger-than-life, but sinks towards the bottom Drake’s discography due to the many glaciers that ruined it’s sail to the top.

Highlights: “Feel No Ways,” “Redemption,” “Controlla”

7. Thank Me Later

Ranking Every Drake Album From Worst to Best

Drake’s commercial debut Thank Me Later is the type project that is forever changing positions in ranked lists. When I first heard this album back in 2010, it felt rushed, as if the music was crafted too quickly in order to ride the So Far Gone explosion. Over time, though, the album has grown on me.

You won’t find the best production or the best rapping or the best singing, but there’s an honesty that is prevalent on each track. Thank Me Later is the album made by an early-20s rapper who was suddenly thrust into the spotlight; you get the waves confidence and insecurities, the struggle to adjust and the fear failing.

This is one Drake’s clearest selfies, the first three songs exhibiting a level transparency that will always be relatable. The more Drake reaches the status an artist who caters to the world, the easier it is to appreciate the young rapper who poured his heart into every bar. Yeah, this was the st Drake, the throw-him-in-the-locker Drake, the sit-outside-your-ex-house-and-cry Drake, but that’s who Drake was—the Drake we knew the best. If only the album was better put together.

Highlights: "Karaoke," "Miss Me," "Find Your Love," "9AM in Dallas" (included as a bonus track on the UK iTunes version)

6. Comeback Season

Ranking Every Drake Album From Worst to Best

Comeback Season is a far more developed version  Room For Improvement, an example what happens when Charmander reaches level 16 and evolves into Charmeleon.

Lyrically, Drake is a much better rapper, a sharper pen with far more conviction in his voice. Comeback Season is the project where 40 begins working with Drake, as an engineer but not yet a producer. With 40 on the boards, the mix is far more pleasant on the ears. This is the Drake that I would have loved to hear as an artist signed under Jamla; 9th Wonder would’ve molded this baby Phonte into something special.

I get why this Drake is missed―this is before he started to really incorporate a strong R&B presence into his music―since this is the final form Backpack Drake. If you ever wanted to know what Drake sounds like over Dilla and 9th Wonder, this is the only project when such a phenomenon occurred. 

While quality rapping can be found on Comeback Season, it doesn't fer much appeal for repeat visits all these years later. Underground rap may desire this Drake, but he most likely would have hit a ceiling if he didn’t change his approach. He wouldn't destroy Billboard and become the world's biggest star rapping like Common Sense. 

Highlights: "Must Hate Money," "Think Good Thoughts," "Man the Year"

5. More Life

Ranking Every Drake Album From Worst to Best

More Life has only been in this world for a few days, so this is the most tentative and premature placement on this list. I went into this musical fering looking for a project that was better than his last, wondering if he could correct all the limitations that prevented Views from being a stronger project. Again, Drake went Titanic―a massive project full grandiose beats, global influences, and luxury raps―but despite another lengthy cruise, More Life is the far more enthralling experience.

More Life is a people pleaser as if he sought to touch every corner his audience and fulfill their every Drake desire; while this creates a project that essentially isn’t for everyone, you are likely to find the Drake you like most somewhere in the 1-hour and 20-minute listen.

There are only a handful lines that caused me to cringe, while most the music is pleasant to the ears. More Life is considered a “playlist project” because its 22 songs will be scattered across playlists and Drake will be completely unavoidable. This is his attempt at conquering streaming, cornering the market, while pleasing a majority his fans.

As an album, it suffers from a few the same shortcomings as Views, but it’s an overall improvement in almost every way. Time will tell, but this position could change as we sit with the album more.

Highlights: "Free Smoke," "Passionfruit," "Do Not Disturb"

4. If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late

Ranking Every Drake Album From Worst to Best

If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, the surprise mixtape they refuse to call an album. 

In a way, this album is the complete opposite Thank Me Later―braggadocious, boastful, with an arrogance that was rare to see. This is the album where Charmeleon becomes a self-assured Charizard. This is Drake going into the trap atmosphere with vigor and zeal, rapping with an assortment tricks that makes each song a memorable moment.

I’ve always felt like this was Drake’s victory lap, the project you drop when you feel as if no man on this Earth can stop your reign. Despite being a sonic change, this is one Drake’s most cohesive, well-balanced albums; he delved into the trap on his own terms, never feeling like an outsider.

It can be argued that Quentin Miller’s pen is the reason why Drake was able to make such a graceful leap into a new environment, and while If You’re Reading This will always be seen as the project that outed Drake as a ghostwriter employer, the music is undeniable.

How can you hate on the stream bangers from “Legend” to “6 God?” Or "6 Man"? IYRTITL houses, arguably, one Drake’s best R&B cuts in “Jungle.” Even if this album will always be seen as more an orphan than fspring, the music captured a moment and continues to age well.

Highlights: "Energy," "Know Yourself," "6 Man"

3. Nothing Was The Same

Ranking Every Drake Album From Worst to Best

“Tuscan Leather” is the best intro that Drake has ever made. I will fight any man, man-child, or Demogorgon about that. From Drake’s rapping to the way 40 flipped the sample like a master chef making a supreme flapjack, it’s an incredible way to begin the album.

From there, Nothing Was The Same delves deeper into the psyche a blossoming rap star coming f an acclaimed sophomore LP. Cohesion is both the gift and curse NWTS, the album is a seamless listen and it flows effortlessly―smoother than driving a brand new Porsche in Malibu. At the same time, however, that same cohesiveness sucks you into a world that begins to feel repetitive, by not adding variety to the album's soundscape, even good songs feel extraneous.

Is it necessary to have “Wu-Tang Forever” and “Own It?” “Started From The Bottom” and “Worst Behavior?” “Connect” and “305 To My City?”

NWTS is Drake showing that he is a master his universe, understanding the balance between bourgeois rap star and R&B aficionado, strip club connoisseur and famous casanova, the honest transparency mixed with bulletpro bravado. This isn't a cover-to-cover listen, but after this hit the mainstream, as the title suggests, nothing was ever the same.

Highlights: "Tuscan Leather," "Furthest Thing," "Too Much"

2. Take Care

Ranking Every Drake Album From Worst to Best

The album that will be argued until the end days as Drake’s "undeniable classic." Take Care, a moment that rap will never forget. I fear that the moment has always clouded my judgment on this album, like being attached to a memory better days.  

Sure, Drake will get flak for making “Marvin’s Room,” but at the time, I never heard a song that was so painfully pure on the radio. Take Care has so many these bleeding vein moments, like Drake didn’t care if an audience heard him spill out his soul, the words needed to come out. He embraced being the simp, he embraced his fury against naysayers―everything he was feeling in his life at the moment can be heard on this album―and he got in touch with his feelings and let them live over incredible production.

Some his best music is on this album―”Cameras/Good Ones Go,” “Doing It Wrong,” “Underground King,” “Look What You’ve Done,” “The Ride,” “Over My Dead Body,”―with the highs hovering way over Toronto's CN Tower. It should be noted that The Weeknd’s contribution to this album can’t be overlooked, he is a big reason why Take Care sounds the way it does. 

The Drake that will always earn my money is the genuine, earnest, honest rapper who captures a generation kids chasing dreams, loving and losing, all while striving to leave a mark on the world. Take Care left a mark.

Highlights: "Over My Dead Body," "Marvin's Room," "Cameras / Good Ones Go Interlude"

1. So Far Gone

Ranking Every Drake Album From Worst to Best

Everything good that I’ve written about Drake in this ranking feature can be found in So Far Gone, his breakout project and magnum opus. And to be clear, we're talking about the mixtape, with all Drake's original vision intact, not the watered-down, commercial cash grab that was the EP.

Drake isn’t a complicated rapper. When it comes to depth, he isn’t taking us into the deep end, but he’s great at allowing us entrance into his life. So Far Gone is the doorway into the world Aubrey Graham. He finds his voice as a singer without sacrificing his prowess as a rapper, is able to craft great songs with nod-worthy bars, is cohesive without being repetitive, and even though he owes Kanye and Cudi for the soundscape, Drake makes this dreamy, R&B-drenched world his own.

If More Life is a slice Drake’s broad palette, So Far Gone is a Hyperbolic Time Chamber where he makes the most with limited tools. As a pony with only a few tricks, he made sure each one was better than the last.

This is the first project where 40 took on the role producer, flipping all the samples that Drake desired. He found his sound while penning some his most heartfelt music. Cool and sensitive, romantic yet with more heartbreak than heartbroken, assured with a hint doubt―So Far Gone was the mixtape Drake was born to make and the album he’ll always try to overcome.

From front to back, So Far Gone is his best work to date.

Highlights: "Lust For Life," "November 18th," "Say What's Real"

By Yoh, aka You Can Hate Me Now, aka @Yoh31

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Hip Hop Album Sales: Christian Rapper NF Tops Billboard 200 & Lil Pump Hits #3

The latest Billboard 200 chart finds Christian Hip Hop artist NF sitting in the #1 slot with his new album, Perception. Lil Pump’s self-titled debut made its entrance at #3, just below Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ Greatest Hits album for the week ending October 12. Trippie Redd makes his debut at #34 with A Love Letter To You 2, while Post Malone’s Stoney, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie’s The Bigger Artist and Lil Uzi Vert’s Luv Is Rage 2 all hang in the Top 10.

Elsewhere on the chart, Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. dropped out the Top 10 after a 15 percent decrease in albums moved. K. Dot’s double-platinum project was #9 last week.

Meanwhile, SZA, Khalid, XXXTENTACION, Drake, Kodak Black and Logic all maintain Top 20 placements.

NF’s Debut Is Heavenly

Christian rapper NF’s third studio album, Perception, has debuted in the #1 slot the Billboard 200. With 54,783 total album equivalent units (27,541 in pure album sales and a streaming count 21,092,927), it was enough to earn the crown. The Michigan native’s last album, 2016’s Therapy Session, peaked at #12.

Lil Pump Pumps It Up

With 46,184 total album equivalent units sold (6,149 in pure albums and a streaming count 56,807,624), the numbers for Lil Pump’s debut album have catapulted him to near the top the chart. The Miami native, who boasts 3.5 million follower on Instagram, has been steadily gaining notoriety since emerging with songs like “Lil Pump,” “Flex Like Ouu” and “D Rose” earlier this year.

Trippie Redd Makes His Debut

Trippie Redd’s A Love Letter To You 2 hit the chart at #34 with 13,306 total album equivalent units (1,347 in pure album sales and a streaming count  17,502,132). The Ohio rapper’s first installment, A Love Letter To You, yielded the single “Love Scars/You Hurt Me,” which has over 12 million views on YouTube.

Redd recently spoke to HipHopDX about his music, saying, “It’s mostly alternative rock, R&B, Hip Hop, all types shit just put together. I really just like … It’s my own subgenre. You can’t really put a name to it. I’m just versatile. I do everything.”

K. Dot Drops Out Of Top 10

Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. has already been on the Billboard 200 chart for 26 weeks, debuting at #1 in April. For the week ending October 12, K. Dot’s fourth studio album sits in the #11 slot with 29,116 total equivalent units sold (4,549 in pure albums sales and a streaming count 33,394,393).

The Compton MC recently revealed his perfect verse can be found on the DAMN. single, “FEAR.”

Top 10 Billboard Top 200 Rap & R&B Albums For The Week Ending 10/12/2017

Note: The first number below is this week’s “total album equivalent units” count, an intersection album sales, single sales, and streams implemented by Billboard’s new rating system. A pure album sales figure is available in bold in parenthesis and information about each album’s streaming count is available in brackets.

  1. NF — Perception — #1 — 54,783 (37,968) 21,092,927]
  2. Lil Pump — Lil Pump — #3 — 46,184 (6,149) 56,807,624]
  3. Post Malone — Stoney — #4 — 44,693 (3,811) 55,735,596]
  4. A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie — Bigger Artist — #6 — 38,989 (1,397) 54,663,563]
  5. Lil Uzi Vert — Luv Is Rage 2 — #7 — 36,759 (747) 52,071,772]
  6. Kendrick Lamar — DAMN. — #11 — 29,116 (4,549) 33,394,393]
  7. Khalid — American Teen — #12 — 27,954 (2,448) 34,598,046]
  8. XXXTENTACION — 17 — #14 — 24,357 (851) 33,884,604]
  9. SZA — CTRL — #16 — 21,965 (2,177) 27,691,830]
  10. Kodak Black — Project Baby 2 — #17 — 20,315 (408) 28,810,198]
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EXCLUSIVE: Keyshia Ka’oir Talks Relationship Goals with Gucci Mane, BET Special

On Thursday evening (September 28), Keyshia Ka’oir hosted a celebration at Atlanta’s Terminus 330, nearly three weeks before she and Gucci Mane get married live on BET. The special, titled The Mane Event, will air on October 17 ahead a 10-episode series featuring the couple in their everyday life.

It’s safe to say we’ve finally grown accustomed to the new Gucci.

The venue was elegant, decorated as if it were anyone’s moneyed bridal shower. Cream and white floral arrangements dotted the tables. Drinks and small bites were served and people seemed to settle in to the idea Gucci and Keyshia on BET weekly, over Thai Beef and Brisket and Brie sliders. It’s not a hard sell actually, the two have been inseparable since Guwop’s release in May 2016. In fact, Ka’oir had to leave her own party two hours early Thursday night (“I have a plane to catch. My man has a show in Denver.”).

They take pictures for social media beaming in matching colors, on bicycles and in their living room, prompting fans the couple to tag ‘#RelationshipGoals’ with each repost. “I feel like people can kind relate to our relationship, he’s been to prison so many times and for me to be with him while he was going through the toughest part his life, being that he is a celebrity, people can relate to that,” Ka’oir told Hip-Hop Wired. “Like, ‘Damn, she stuck around…’ They got men who are locked up so it’s kinda like, they have similar stories.”

The rapper has transcended beyond the hood stories Atlanta’s eastside; narratives longstanding intimidation and outright violence on the streets Decatur, simply sound like intricately woven tall tales after the year-and-a-half Gucci’s had.

Gone are the days reckless abandon, the East Atlanta Santa is svelte, happy and getting married on television. And a lot people credit the woman by his side, Keyshia Kaoir.

“I mean, he’s a man so I couldn’t change him,” she says. “He had to want to change but I did keep him positive. I did keep him going. I did let him know that I love him and I’m here waiting for you so you have something to look forward to everyday.”

See more photos Ka’oir, that rock and festivities below and on the following pages.

EXCLUSIVE: Keyshia Ka’oir Talks Relationship Goals with Gucci Mane, BET Special

EXCLUSIVE: Keyshia Ka’oir Talks Relationship Goals with Gucci Mane, BET Special

Photos: Prince Williams/ATLPics.net

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Read Future's Heartbreaking Tribute To Late Sound Engineer Seth Firkins

Seth Firkins, a sound engineer who’d been working with rappers on the Atlanta scene for years, passed away in his sleep on September 23.

Firkins was especially close to Future, and had worked as the engineer on the rapper’s 2012 Pluto 3D album. Some other major credits include American Gangster by JAY-Z and The Appeal: Georgia’s Most Wanted by Gucci Mane. He also worked with Young Thug, Rihanna, Ciara and Trina.

Future shared a touching response on social media, writing a lengthy Instagram caption to celebrate the life his friend.

“I always gave racism a cold shoulder because my real brother Is a white guy by the name Seth Firkins,” he wrote. “I got a call saying u died in your sleep? First thing came to my mind is, why are you sleep at 5am? That’s when we record our best shit & I tell u ‘don’t’ fall asleep we got more work to do.. but somethin told me I should’ve been at home recording for some reason.”

“I was saying this in my head, then bad news beat me home! I love u beyond this post, I will cherish u forever big bro, I just wish u would’ve text me & told me u was going to sleep and i wasn’t going to be able to wake u up this time…the family will miss u 1000%!! No kap in my game kid, rest well my brother. Rest well.”

Future wasn’t the only one to pay his respects to Firkins, who passed away the age 36. Other Hip Hop producers and sound engineers, such as Mike WiLL Made It and Alex Tumay shared their grief, with Tumay saying “the world is going to sound so much worse without him.”

No cause death has been reported.

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21 Savage’s Girlfriend Amber Rose To Host Live Chat On Adult Entertainment Site

Amber Rose has used her platform and head-turning looks to promote sex positivity, gender equality, and the concept self-love above all. The curvy social media star will lend her time to adult entertainment platform ManyVids to host a live streaming chat where fans and others can interact with her in real time.

According to a press release from ManyVids,a platform designed for adult entertainers all levels and orientations to stream and chat live with fans, Rose will appear on the network on Monday (Sept. 24). The collaboration was sparked by a pledge from ManyVids to support Rose’s SlutWalk and the Amber Rose Foundation, helping the starlet to raise awareness for causes dear to her.

It marks the first time ManyVids has worked with a star in this capacity. Rose will appear on the platform at 4 PM ET on Monday, September 25.

Photo: ManyVids

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