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Thread started 06/04/16 9:54pm

djm86

D'Angelo's Latest Album

I am here listening to D'Angelo's latest album 'The Black Messiah' and it made me think...he is channeling a lot of early Prince...particularly 'Prayer"...what are your thoughts?

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Reply #1 posted 06/05/16 12:50am

EmmaMcG

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Definitely. You can tell that Prince was a huge influence on D'Angelo. When the album came out I was playing Sugah Daddy and my cousin came into the room and was like "Is that Prince?".
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Reply #2 posted 06/05/16 1:36am

Exetergirl

I've only just discovered this album, but I put the similarity down to the fact that both Prince and D'Angelo would have listened to a lot of gospel music in their youth.

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Reply #3 posted 06/05/16 8:11am

duccichucka

Exetergirl said:

I've only just discovered this album, but I put the similarity down to the fact that both Prince and D'Angelo would have listened to a lot of gospel music in their youth.


D'Angelo, yes; very much influenced by gospel and Prince for that matter. Yet, I never really heard
too much of a compositional connection from Prince to D'Angelo. D'Angelo's songwriting consists mostly
of vamps. Prince was a great melodicist in the form of McCartney, and Wonder for example and wrote
his pop tunes, at least, in a conventional format. D'Angelo's sense of melody isn't really in the fore-
front of his music as opposed to grooves because again, he's utilizing vamps and rhythms mostly. In
my opinion, the quickest way to hear Prince's musical influence on D'Angelo is through vocal production
and vocal arrangement.

I never heard too much of gospel music's influence in Prince's work however.

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Reply #4 posted 06/05/16 8:30am

Exetergirl

duccichucka said:

Exetergirl said:

I've only just discovered this album, but I put the similarity down to the fact that both Prince and D'Angelo would have listened to a lot of gospel music in their youth.


D'Angelo, yes; very much influenced by gospel and Prince for that matter. Yet, I never really heard
too much of a compositional connection from Prince to D'Angelo. D'Angelo's songwriting consists mostly
of vamps. Prince was a great melodicist in the form of McCartney, and Wonder for example and wrote
his pop tunes, at least, in a conventional format. D'Angelo's sense of melody isn't really in the fore-
front of his music as opposed to grooves because again, he's utilizing vamps and rhythms mostly. In
my opinion, the quickest way to hear Prince's musical influence on D'Angelo is through vocal production
and vocal arrangement.

I never heard too much of gospel music's influence in Prince's work however.

After writing my original response I had a revelation duh Prince's handclaps = D'Angelo's handclaps because they were both brought up as happy clappy Christians. Sometimes you are too close to the music to see the obvious.

Another thing I recently realised is that one of my favourite Prince tracks Letitgo Sherm Stick Edit contains a sample from Ballad of Dorothy Parker. I have been listening to and loving that song for 20 years and I've only just figured out why it's so brilliant.

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Reply #5 posted 06/05/16 8:50am

duccichucka

Exetergirl said:

duccichucka said:


D'Angelo, yes; very much influenced by gospel and Prince for that matter. Yet, I never really heard
too much of a compositional connection from Prince to D'Angelo. D'Angelo's songwriting consists mostly
of vamps. Prince was a great melodicist in the form of McCartney, and Wonder for example and wrote
his pop tunes, at least, in a conventional format. D'Angelo's sense of melody isn't really in the fore-
front of his music as opposed to grooves because again, he's utilizing vamps and rhythms mostly. In
my opinion, the quickest way to hear Prince's musical influence on D'Angelo is through vocal production
and vocal arrangement.

I never heard too much of gospel music's influence in Prince's work however.

After writing my original response I had a revelation duh Prince's handclaps = D'Angelo's handclaps because they were both brought up as happy clappy Christians. Sometimes you are too close to the music to see the obvious.


Hmm, I don't remember reading about Prince's involvement in the church as a musician. But I
may be missing that piece of his history. But you could be onto something there!

And I especially like your insight regarding how our proximity to music can sometimes block how we
should hear "the obvious," because that may be even true for me and how I view/listen D'Angelo's
music and the impact Prince had on him.

Speaking of Prince, you know, I'm not the type of fan who is crying and devastated and utterly filled
with remorse because he passed away. And I haven't listened to Prince since 2008. But I've been
going through my Prince library and this dude was just a fucking great musician. He's the baddest
pop musician whoever lived. McCartney is still my favorite, but goddamn - Prince was something
else. I mean, take "Pop Life" for an example: notice how he has the verse melody panned left but
has the same vocal track panned right but not completely synced. I love that! It's not a significant
arrangement, but so fucking cool! And think about the piano run he does during the last verse right
at "there won't be no water..." - a miniature run but so expressive. And don't get me started on the
melody - I loved this guy. He was brilliant. When he passed, he definitely took a color from the
earth's palette with him. But the thing about God/mother nature is that God/she is a creative genius
and the new color to add into that palette is coming just around the corner. . .

Howard Stern: Is Prince a better musician than you?
Dave Grohl: Prince is a better drummer than me!

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Reply #6 posted 06/05/16 12:21pm

Exetergirl

D'angelo's father was a pentecostal preacher and I believe that Prince's mother was a Baptist. Perhaps I'm making too much of this because I went to Baptist Sunday School and picked up how important Baptists thought music was in communicating their message. They certainly know how to work a crowd and stir up people's emotions (similar to a Prince concert), although I must admit there were times when it all felt a bit stage managed.

Anyway back to the point, D'Angelo 's Black Messiah. I love this album and I'm really savouring it. I could rush out and buy his other two studio albums but I'd rather really immerse myself in this one. At the moment Another Life is stuck in my brain and reminds me of Roy Ayers or Loose Ends rather than Prince. There is definitely some of Prince in that album, but there are lots of other influences too.

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Reply #7 posted 06/05/16 12:43pm

luvsexy4all

so sad now we're stuck with just him for "new" music...

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Reply #8 posted 06/05/16 12:43pm

duccichucka

Yeah, but I still don't think Prince had any experience playing in the church. None of his
chops heard from The Work remind me of the church. He was disco-lite back when he
started doing his thing in Minneapolis. Brown Sugar has a song called "Higher" that is
straight church-music. Also, his "U Will Know" single from the Jason's Lyric is an obvious
church inspired tune. Do you have any examples of Prince's gospel/church influence? And
Prince's ability to work a crowd and stir up emotion speaks to the power of music first and
foremost, and his ability to entertain in the mold of James Brown is secondary - it's not
based upon the hootin' and hollerin' of the typical Baptist gospel choir.

I'm shocked that a Prince fan has not heard D'Angelo's Voodoo yet. I would have you listen
to that one first before getting into the third lp, but whatevez.

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Reply #9 posted 06/05/16 3:47pm

RaspBerryGirlF
riend

avatar

duccichucka said:

Exetergirl said:

I've only just discovered this album, but I put the similarity down to the fact that both Prince and D'Angelo would have listened to a lot of gospel music in their youth.


D'Angelo, yes; very much influenced by gospel and Prince for that matter. Yet, I never really heard
too much of a compositional connection from Prince to D'Angelo. D'Angelo's songwriting consists mostly
of vamps. Prince was a great melodicist in the form of McCartney, and Wonder for example and wrote
his pop tunes, at least, in a conventional format. D'Angelo's sense of melody isn't really in the fore-
front of his music as opposed to grooves because again, he's utilizing vamps and rhythms mostly. In
my opinion, the quickest way to hear Prince's musical influence on D'Angelo is through vocal production
and vocal arrangement.

I never heard too much of gospel music's influence in Prince's work however.

I definitely agree, it's always mystified me when people here talk about D'Angelo's albums as if he were just straight up ripping off Prince. Sure there's an obvious influence in the vocal arranging and D'Angelo is a huge fan, but as you said I find D'Angelo's groove centred approach quite different from the general feel of Prince's.

Heavenly wine and roses seems to whisper to me when you smile...
Always cry for love, never cry for pain...
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Reply #10 posted 06/05/16 5:55pm

daingermouz202
0

Exetergirl said:

I've only just discovered this album, but I put the similarity down to the fact that both Prince and D'Angelo would have listened to a lot of gospel music in their youth.




I'd say very much so with D'Angelo. That's quite evident on all three of his albums on certain songs. Prince I'd say had some of the same gospel influences but Prince's musical heroes and influences are so varied. He was quite amazing. Like a musical buffet.
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Reply #11 posted 06/05/16 5:58pm

daingermouz202
0

duccichucka said:



Exetergirl said:


I've only just discovered this album, but I put the similarity down to the fact that both Prince and D'Angelo would have listened to a lot of gospel music in their youth.




D'Angelo, yes; very much influenced by gospel and Prince for that matter. Yet, I never really heard
too much of a compositional connection from Prince to D'Angelo. D'Angelo's songwriting consists mostly
of vamps. Prince was a great melodicist in the form of McCartney, and Wonder for example and wrote
his pop tunes, at least, in a conventional format. D'Angelo's sense of melody isn't really in the fore-
front of his music as opposed to grooves because again, he's utilizing vamps and rhythms mostly. In
my opinion, the quickest way to hear Prince's musical influence on D'Angelo is through vocal production
and vocal arrangement.

I never heard too much of gospel music's influence in Prince's work however.



To me Still Would Stand All Time, Willing and Able, and Adore all sound very gospel to me. Not lyrically but vocally.
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Reply #12 posted 06/05/16 6:04pm

duccichucka

daingermouz2020 said:

duccichucka said:


D'Angelo, yes; very much influenced by gospel and Prince for that matter. Yet, I never really heard
too much of a compositional connection from Prince to D'Angelo. D'Angelo's songwriting consists mostly
of vamps. Prince was a great melodicist in the form of McCartney, and Wonder for example and wrote
his pop tunes, at least, in a conventional format. D'Angelo's sense of melody isn't really in the fore-
front of his music as opposed to grooves because again, he's utilizing vamps and rhythms mostly. In
my opinion, the quickest way to hear Prince's musical influence on D'Angelo is through vocal production
and vocal arrangement.

I never heard too much of gospel music's influence in Prince's work however.

To me Still Would Stand All Time, Willing and Able, and Adore all sound very gospel to me. Not lyrically but vocally.


Hmm, not sure if I buy this argument but it did make me pause, especially concerning "Adore"
during some of its sections. "Call My Name" is another tune that sounds gospel-y.

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Reply #13 posted 06/07/16 3:13pm

jjam

It's a bit unfocused as an album to say the least.

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Reply #14 posted 06/07/16 4:25pm

SPYZFAN1

I think it's a great album. My only problem with it?... the unclear vocals. It sounds like he's mumbling through most of it..... My favorite is still "Voodoo"...there needs to be a box set of "Voodoo" outtakes released.

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Reply #15 posted 06/07/16 11:20pm

EmmaMcG

avatar

SPYZFAN1 said:

I think it's a great album. My only problem with it?... the unclear vocals. It sounds like he's mumbling through most of it..... My favorite is still "Voodoo"...there needs to be a box set of "Voodoo" outtakes released.



The first time I heard it I couldn't really understand anything he was saying but now that's not an issue for me. I can understand him perfectly. I do wish he would sing more clearly though.

As for outtakes, obviously with the rules being as they are I can't say where to find it but a few years ago something called James River Prelude Album came out with a bunch of outtakes on it. Mostly outtakes from Black Messiah but I think some are from Voodoo as well.
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Reply #16 posted 06/08/16 5:39am

MoBettaBliss

duccichucka said:


I never heard too much of gospel music's influence in Prince's work however.



strongly disagree

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Reply #17 posted 06/08/16 9:45am

Identity


I still have Black Messiah on constant rotation. The album is brilliant, without filler tracks and singularly focused, dispelling any notion he is a mere Prince follower.

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Reply #18 posted 06/08/16 11:22pm

bobsteezy

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I wrote this review of Voodoo...

D'Angelo is a gifted soulful musician. He oozes with soul - singing his truth despite the pain that accompanies said truth. His "Voodoo" release is a master work that anyone with a soul should dig. Layering his own euphoric vocals on top of each other, D'Angelo makes good use of all that Prince has taught new soul men. You feel his rage, and depth with each vocal performance.

D'Angelo gives away, "Dirty is our secret" in the opening track, Playa Playa. Indeed, the Voodoo sound is what it implies; gritty, dimly lit, and brown; like a dark copper colored roux. …Devils Pie is a great song; a simple groove with a funk bass line, and a few handclaps, scratches, and horns. The brilliance is in the lyrics and delivery by D'Angelo. Co-written by D'Angelo, and DJ Premier, Devils Pie is about humans losing site of their principles and selling-out for money.

Fuck the slice, `want the pie. Why ask why, til we fry

Watch us all stand in line - For a slice of the Devil's Pie.

… (What the) Hell is this all about - Apocalypse ain't no doubt

Everybody's ho'ing out (For) All the loot, all the clout.

Roy Hargrove is a major player on this CD, as is ?uestlove from the Roots. Hargrove's smooth trumpet and flugel horn are flickering candles in the back. ?uestlove's drums offer a crisp hi-hat, and hard snare. All-time favorite guitar genius Spanky is at his best on Send it On. …One Mo Gin is a classic slow groove that hypnotizes with a repetitive Pino Palladino bass line, light keys, and D'Angelo's multi-tracked falsetto vocal. Yearning for one more (chance, night) with a lost love, D'Angelo sings a humble song to her that stands the test of time. Likewise, The Root, is a head nodding lament about a woman that "left a dirty stain in my heart". Charlie Hunter provides fantastic wandering bass, and guitar.

Other standout tracks include Spanish Joint, GreatDayNDaMornin, and the popular Untitled (How Does it Feel). The latter was C0-written byRaphael Saadiq, and features a dream trio of D'Angelo, Saadiq, and Spanky. …To me, D'Angelo is the brightest star, post-Prince, that I've seen. He makes many acts of 1995-2000 seem very pedestrian. If you feel music and you don't yet have D'Angelo in your life, fix that now.

We all want the stuff that's found in our wildest dreams.

http://www.ustream.tv/cha...dj-bobstar
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Reply #19 posted 06/08/16 11:42pm

Goddess4Real

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I loved his latest album.......it took alot longer between albums (15 years, 2years more between The Red Shoes and Aerial by Kate Bush lol ) but it was worth it. Glad to have him back biggrin

[Edited 6/8/16 23:43pm]

Keep Calm & Listen To Prince
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Reply #20 posted 06/09/16 10:05am

KoolEaze

avatar

EmmaMcG said:

SPYZFAN1 said:

I think it's a great album. My only problem with it?... the unclear vocals. It sounds like he's mumbling through most of it..... My favorite is still "Voodoo"...there needs to be a box set of "Voodoo" outtakes released.

The first time I heard it I couldn't really understand anything he was saying but now that's not an issue for me. I can understand him perfectly. I do wish he would sing more clearly though. As for outtakes, obviously with the rules being as they are I can't say where to find it but a few years ago something called James River Prelude Album came out with a bunch of outtakes on it. Mostly outtakes from Black Messiah but I think some are from Voodoo as well.

Agree. I still have no idea why the vocals on that great album sound so mumbled. I mean, you can clearly understand every single word on his debut and the sophomore Voodoo, and also that live album, and he always sounds crystal clear during his live shows, and as meticulous as he is about his music, it is still a mystery to me why the vocals on Black Messiah sound the way they do.

I saw his live show and he sounded perfect, no mumbling at all, so I wonder why that album is the only occasion of him sounding a bit muffled, throughout the whole album.

People here call it an artistic choice, so maybe that´s the reason but it still baffles me.

" I´d rather be a stank ass hoe because I´m not stupid. Oh my goodness! I got more drugs! I´m always funny dude...I´m hilarious! Are we gonna smoke?"




http://kooleasehvac.com/
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Reply #21 posted 06/09/16 11:24am

Cinny

avatar

jjam said:

It's a bit unfocused as an album to say the least.

Would be hard to compile an album of 14 songs from 14 years and expect it to have a focused theme.

I think sonically it is quite cohesive.

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Reply #22 posted 06/09/16 1:05pm

EmmaMcG

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KoolEaze said:



EmmaMcG said:


SPYZFAN1 said:

I think it's a great album. My only problem with it?... the unclear vocals. It sounds like he's mumbling through most of it..... My favorite is still "Voodoo"...there needs to be a box set of "Voodoo" outtakes released.



The first time I heard it I couldn't really understand anything he was saying but now that's not an issue for me. I can understand him perfectly. I do wish he would sing more clearly though. As for outtakes, obviously with the rules being as they are I can't say where to find it but a few years ago something called James River Prelude Album came out with a bunch of outtakes on it. Mostly outtakes from Black Messiah but I think some are from Voodoo as well.

Agree. I still have no idea why the vocals on that great album sound so mumbled. I mean, you can clearly understand every single word on his debut and the sophomore Voodoo, and also that live album, and he always sounds crystal clear during his live shows, and as meticulous as he is about his music, it is still a mystery to me why the vocals on Black Messiah sound the way they do.


I saw his live show and he sounded perfect, no mumbling at all, so I wonder why that album is the only occasion of him sounding a bit muffled, throughout the whole album.


People here call it an artistic choice, so maybe that´s the reason but it still baffles me.



Yeah, I don't know why he went down that route but like I said, after a few listens I understood most of it and now I can understand all of it. It's weird to think that it must have been a conscious decision on his part to sing like that though.
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Reply #23 posted 06/09/16 1:21pm

MoBettaBliss

Cinny said:

jjam said:

It's a bit unfocused as an album to say the least.

Would be hard to compile an album of 14 songs from 14 years and expect it to have a focused theme.

I think sonically it is quite cohesive.


sonically, it's brilliant

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Reply #24 posted 06/09/16 6:36pm

Identity

SPYZFAN1 said:

I think it's a great album. My only problem with it?... the unclear vocals. It sounds like he's mumbling through most of it..... My favorite is still "Voodoo"...there needs to be a box set of "Voodoo" outtakes released.



The full lyrics for Black Messiah. wink

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Reply #25 posted 06/09/16 6:55pm

KoolEaze

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SPYZFAN1 said:

I think it's a great album. My only problem with it?... the unclear vocals. It sounds like he's mumbling through most of it..... My favorite is still "Voodoo"...there needs to be a box set of "Voodoo" outtakes released.

Questlove said that they are planning something like that....an extra album with lots of outtakes. But it was supposed to come out a long time ago.

" I´d rather be a stank ass hoe because I´m not stupid. Oh my goodness! I got more drugs! I´m always funny dude...I´m hilarious! Are we gonna smoke?"




http://kooleasehvac.com/
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Reply #26 posted 06/09/16 7:19pm

SPYZFAN1

Thanks for the lyrics! wink ......The engineer/collaborator of "Voodoo" (Russell) said that there were many outtakes from the sessions recorded. He said they also did hours of covers of P and Stevie Wonder songs too. Hopefuly one day they will come out.

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Reply #27 posted 06/10/16 2:11pm

duccichucka

MoBettaBliss said:

duccichucka said:


I never heard too much of gospel music's influence in Prince's work however.



strongly disagree


I strongly ask that you provide examples. I could be wrong, but I don't hear too much of a
gospel influence in Prince's music. Again, I said I never heard too much - I didn't say I
didn't hear "any."

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Reply #28 posted 06/13/16 5:49pm

silkman

daingermouz2020 said:

duccichucka said:


D'Angelo, yes; very much influenced by gospel and Prince for that matter. Yet, I never really heard
too much of a compositional connection from Prince to D'Angelo. D'Angelo's songwriting consists mostly
of vamps. Prince was a great melodicist in the form of McCartney, and Wonder for example and wrote
his pop tunes, at least, in a conventional format. D'Angelo's sense of melody isn't really in the fore-
front of his music as opposed to grooves because again, he's utilizing vamps and rhythms mostly. In
my opinion, the quickest way to hear Prince's musical influence on D'Angelo is through vocal production
and vocal arrangement.

I never heard too much of gospel music's influence in Prince's work however.

To me Still Would Stand All Time, Willing and Able, and Adore all sound very gospel to me. Not lyrically but vocally.

Daingermouz, you said it all. I was about to hop in here, and say, hol' up, Prince did have a some gospel in his songs. I'm glad i'm not the only one who was listening closely. *daps*.

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Reply #29 posted 06/13/16 9:57pm

daingermouz202
0

silkman said:



daingermouz2020 said:


duccichucka said:



D'Angelo, yes; very much influenced by gospel and Prince for that matter. Yet, I never really heard
too much of a compositional connection from Prince to D'Angelo. D'Angelo's songwriting consists mostly
of vamps. Prince was a great melodicist in the form of McCartney, and Wonder for example and wrote
his pop tunes, at least, in a conventional format. D'Angelo's sense of melody isn't really in the fore-
front of his music as opposed to grooves because again, he's utilizing vamps and rhythms mostly. In
my opinion, the quickest way to hear Prince's musical influence on D'Angelo is through vocal production
and vocal arrangement.

I never heard too much of gospel music's influence in Prince's work however.



To me Still Would Stand All Time, Willing and Able, and Adore all sound very gospel to me. Not lyrically but vocally.


Daingermouz, you said it all. I was about to hop in here, and say, hol' up, Prince did have a some gospel in his songs. I'm glad i'm not the only one who was listening closely. *daps*.



Nah, you aren't the only one. I recall the first time I heard Adore SOTT was my first purchase after graduating boot camp I was floored. Same for the first time I heard D'Angelo's Higher. Both of these tracks imo are cut from the same cloth. Both sound like old school traditional gospel. In many ways they both sound more gospel than most gospel these days.

On a different note a few songs I've listen to sound similar to me Aretha Franklin's Today I Sing the Blues, Mary Mary's Yesterday an Prince's On the Couch .
[Edited 6/13/16 21:58pm]
[Edited 6/16/16 10:08am]
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