Jermaine Dupri Clarifies 'Stripper Rap' Remarks ... Not At All What I Said

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GOT THE BALL ROLLING
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A lot has been made of Jermaine Dupri's comments about female rappers -- but he wants to set the record straight on what was and wasn't said ... straight from the horse's mouth.

We talked to JD on "TMZ Live" Wednesday about an interview he recently did with People Now that's been catching tons of backlash in and around the hip-hop community. 

He said some of the hot femcees in the game right now sound like "strippers rapping" when asked specifically about Cardi B, Nicki Minaj and Megan Thee Stallion, going on to say he didn't have a fave of those three 'cause he felt they all rapped about the same thing.

For the record, Cardi is the only one out of the above-mentioned MCs who used to dance -- Nicki and Meg did not. 

Jermaine clarifies that his remark was only aimed at the artists he was asked about -- and made a point to say that his statement was not meant to be a blanket label on all female rappers. He also recoils against claims he's sexist, saying nothing's further from the truth.

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Cardi weighed in on the issue herself, basically saying she's giving the people what they want ... so she's gonna keep rapping about her "p***y" 'til people demand otherwise. 

Jermaine points out Cardi appears to have heard this complaint before, and that his remark is likely a widespread sentiment that's only catching fire because he's the first big name to publicly voice it -- namely, the most popular female rappers right now focus heavily on sex.

Whether he's got a point or not ... Jermaine does have a solution of sorts for the ladies. If they got bars, he's got beats.

Meek Mill In Court to Get Conviction Overturned ... Both Sides Say He Deserves New Trial

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ARRIVING TO COURT
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1:49 PM PT -- We got CNN's Van Jones after the hearing ... and he told us he expects Meek's conviction to eventually be overturned. 

THIS WILL BE OVER SOON
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Van -- who is also the CEO of REFORM Alliance – tells us Meek stood before the court like a lion, and he says this case is night and day different than when it first started, because both sides now agree there were serious issues with the OG trial. 

1:08 PM PT -- The hearing just ended without a ruling from the Superior Court panel. Meek's lawyers and the District Attorney's Office both reiterated they believe Meek deserves a new trial. 

Meek Mill is back in court trying to get his conviction overturned from over a decade ago -- and he might have a shot based on who's on the bench ... a whole new set of judges.

The Philly-bred rapper is appearing Tuesday in Pennsylvania Superior Court, asking for his 2008 conviction on gun and drug charges to be tossed out based on shoddy evidence that was initially used by a cop who has since been revealed to be crooked.

Not only that, but even state prosecutors have recommended he get a new trial ... and did NOT oppose his release on bail after he got thrown back in prison for a few months in late 2017.

You'll recall ... Genece Brinkley, the judge who initially sent Meek to prison all those years ago, sent him back to the slammer in November 2017 after she found he'd violated his probation -- sentencing him to 2-4 years behind bars ... an incredibly harsh punishment.

Meek's legal team believes this stemmed from a long-standing vendetta the judge has against the rapper ... partly because he laughed at her prior suggestion of him doing a remake of Boyz II Men's "On Bended Knee" and giving her a shout-out.

After a lot of public outcry and petitioning by movers and shakers in and around the city ... Meek was finally released, much to the chagrin of Judge Brinkley.

Luckily for him, she isn't hearing his request this time around -- Meek is coming face-to-face with a panel of judges, who will decide whether the OG case from 2008 was legit or not.

Stay tuned ...

Originally Published -- 12:16 PM PT

Nipsey Hussle Secretly Under Criminal Investigation for Gang Activity ... The Same Time LAPD Was Praising Him

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Nipsey Hussle was praised by the LAPD as a peacemaker in the wake of his death -- a hero of sorts in his community for trying to stem gang violence -- but it turns out the very same police department was secretly investigating Nipsey for possible criminal prosecution for alleged gang activity.

The probe was centered around Nipsey's Marathon Clothing store in South L.A., as a possible hub for gang activity ... this according to The New York Times.

It's a stunning development, because the LAPD was both investigating Nipsey and embracing him at the same time. He was set to meet the LAPD Police Chief the day after he was murdered, to discuss gang violence.

What's more ... a few years before his death, the City of Los Angeles was trying to pressure Hussle's landlords to evict Nipsey from Marathon Clothing ... this according to The NYT. As it turned out, Nipsey bought the building with some investors.

Although the City can no longer prosecute Nipsey, the City continues to investigate Nipsey's business partners.

Nipsey was a member of the Rollin' 60s Crips back in the day, but disavowed gang life and worked heroically to stem gang violence and even worked with former gang members who got out of prison to help get them back up on their feet.

The outlet reports that city officials suspected the strip mall where his clothing store was located -- which Nipsey owned along with a bevy of investors -- was a hotbed for gang members, and that the exact type of violence that took the MC's life was rampant there.

WE MUST PUSH FORWARD
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You'll recall the LAPD Commissioner Steve Soboroff stood shoulder to shoulder with Mayor Eric Garcetti, Chief of Police Michel Moore and other L.A. City Officials to discuss a planned summit Nipsey had coordinated with them to curb gang violence.

Soboroff publicly hailed Nipsey as a peacemaker.

Rapper Boonk Recovers from Broken Jaw ... After Getting Punched

THE BLOODY AFTERMATH

Rapper John Gabbana -- aka Boonk -- is on the mend after getting socked in the face, which left him with a busted jaw ... and some gnarly aftermath footage.

Just a warning ... some of these clips are very graphic (close-up shots of Boonk's broken mouth with teeth missing and whatnot). Boonk recorded himself going into surgery Saturday -- where he seemed to be in relatively good spirits surrounded by pals -- as well as some clips of him from Sunday, when he was apparently recovering from his operation. 

In the video from Saturday, you see Boonk with blood spatter all over his tank top and him holding a tube that he used to suck some of the blood from his mouth. Think a dentist's suction device, only bigger ... and bloodier. That's what we got here.

THE JAW PUNCH

As for how exactly this happened ... Boonk was sucker punched in the face by a short dude.

It's unclear what led up to the assault, or where this even happened, but the seemingly mild blow left a major impact on Boonk's mug. On Instagram, he wrote ... "Broken jaw on both sides, surgery 7:30am. Pray for me, love you guys !! Gotta show them even when I’m down I’m still happy and oh if anyone ask.. I ran into a wall." 

We've been trying to get a hold of Boonk to get more info on what went down, and whether he's filed a police report or not. Considering the circumstances, he certainly could have.

RECOVERY LOVE

In the meantime, it looks like he's got some love and affection to help him heal, courtesy of a lovely lady who's laying bedside with him. 

Feel better, man. Ouch ...

DMX Cop Sketch Looks EXACTLY Like Me ... That's No Accident

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Look Familiar?
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7:50 AM PT -- A spokesperson for the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (State Police) tells TMZ ... the Columbia PD asked State Police if its sketch artist can draw the suspect. State Police obliged and says the witness told the sketch artist "the suspect looked a lot like DMX."

The sketch artist then used a pic of the rapper -- unclear which exact pic -- and worked with the witness to determine subtle differences between DMX and the suspect ... because no two people look exactly alike. State Police says it lets witnesses lead the sketch process when it comes to describing the suspect ... it just so happened the witness said the suspect looked like DMX. 

DMX is the spitting image of a wanted man in South Carolina -- even though he isn't one -- but he says there's a simple explanation ... the sketch artist must've traced an old photo.

We talked to The Dog himself after a police sketch of an attempted murder suspect in Columbia, SC -- who, apparently, looks EXACTLY like X -- went viral. The similarity is SO eerie, he thinks the sketch artist straight-up drew him.

City of Columbia Police Department

He has some theories as to how it got commissioned, but says he has no idea why.

For the record, Columbia PD's deputy chief, Melron Kelly, has come out publicly and said DMX is absolutely NOT a suspect in their investigation -- he lives in NYC for God's sake -- and has suggested the resemblance to the rapper is merely a coincidence.

Getty

Not to go down a rabbit hole of conspiracies here, but a side-by-side comparison of any number of DMX pics from the 2000s shows he's a dead ringer for the guy's profile ... minus the hair and whatnot. X might not be too far off in thinking this is a bit ... well, sketch.

Luckily for him, he's not getting hauled down to the South anytime soon to answer for any crimes. As he notes, he's already got his plate full up north, and ain't lookin' for trouble.

Originally Published -- 12:50 AM PT

Slim 400 Shooting Out of ICU ... But Still Hospitalized

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Slim 400 is finally out of intensive care after being shot up in Compton, but he's not out of the woods yet. 

Sources connected to the rapper tell TMZ that Slim was recently taken out of the ICU at the hospital he's being treated at, and that he's now in stable condition. That said, we're told Slim still has a long road of recuperating ahead of him. 

Our sources say he's expected to remain in the hospital for a good long while, despite initial expectations that he'd be making a full recovery in the coming weeks.

Considering he's undergone 4 surgeries since being rushed to the hospital -- after being shot 9 times in multiples areas of his body -- it's no wonder he'll be bedside for the foreseeable future.

"STAY DANGEROUS"

We're told YG has come by to visit since touching down in L.A. last week -- when he told us he and his crew would respond to the shooting by staying "dangerous." Other folks have come to see him as well. 

No suspects have been identified in the ambush shooting that took place a little more than a week ago. As we first told you, the gunmen hopped out of their drive-by vehicle to finish the job, but miraculously ... Slim lived through the ordeal. 

Kodak Black First Photo Since Getting Locked Up

7:26 PM PT -- Turns out Kodak wasn't taking out his frustrations on his legal team ... Kodak's attorney, Bradford Cohen, just clarified Kodak's caption was simply old lyrics.

Kodak Black has a new photo straight from the pen -- and it's not even an updated mug ... just a cheesin' KB letting us know he's hanging in there.   

The Florida rapper had someone post a fresh pic of himself Sunday from behind bars, and you can see he pretty much looks exactly the same as when he went in. Maybe longer hair, hard to tell though. He also seems to be in good spirits ... on the surface, anyway.

We only say that because Kodak added a somewhat ominous caption to his IG post -- which someone must've thrown up on his behalf while visiting. He writes, "The Streets Thin Na Cuz Everybody Gettin Hung .. Lawyers Sittin Back Suckin All A Ni*** Funds."

Unless he's griping about tax dollars that are going to the state of Florida in prosecuting his case -- hey, he might be -- it sounds an awful lot like Kodak's not happy with his defense team.

He might have a reason to be peeved -- a lot of stuff has NOT been going his way since he got arrested in May for allegedly making false statements on gun applications. He asked a judge, through his attorneys, to let him out on bail so he can deal with his other legal sitch down in South Carolina, but the court ruled in the prosecution's favor, saying he's a risk. 

The feds have also linked guns Kodak allegedly purchased with those false applications to a shooting that happened in March. His lawyers have called BS, but it looks like the case is moving forward as it stands ... which will presumably get resolved during his trial in September. 

BTW, Kodak will remain locked up until then. And yet, despite all that -- he's still smiling ... or fake smiling. One or the other, really.

G-Unit's Young Buck Lil Nas X Pic Was Nothin' But Love ... 50 is Just Trolling

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50 Cent tried shaming his former label mate, Young Buck, for once posing with Lil Nas X, but Buck's not falling for 50's homophobic antics.

Sources close to the former G-Unit MC tell TMZ ... Buck's photo with LNX -- which was posted back in June, well before Nas X came out -- wasn't meant to be anything more than fan appreciation. We're told Buck wanted to give the young rapper props for his newfound success. It wasn't a tease for a collab or anything. 

However, Fiddy decided to use Lil Nas' coming out as a chance to attack Buck. He reposted Buck's pic with the caption ... "New young Buck (Fresh Out the Barn) ft Little Nas X 🔥Coming July 4."

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We're told Buck is unfazed by 50 Cent's attempt to diss and troll. Fact is, it's kinda old at this point, and Buck feels he's simply trying to drag him over a bogus contract from years ago.

As for how he feels about Nas X now that he's come out -- we're told Buck supports him as a person and an artist. Nothing has changed from the time he took the photo back in June with the rising star. 

Blueface Mom, Sister Caused Irreparable Damage ... Gotta Keep My Distance

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CAN'T CHOOSE FAMILY
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2:48 PM PT -- We got the rapper out Wednesday at LAX and he tells TMZ ... a lot of damage was done and is gonna keep his mom and sister at a distance following their altercation. He says it's whack how his fans turned on him without hearing the full story ... but it is what it is.

Blueface wants to get his side of the story out as to why he kicked his mom and sister out of his house -- so he's posted more footage of the altercation with an explanation.

The "Thotiana" rapper threw up multiple clips of what appears to be surveillance video from inside his home, which was the site of chaos last weekend ... as the family drama played out on Instagram Live. But, he says this new video tells the full story of what was going down, 

In Blueface's clips, you can see 2 women causing a ruckus in his crib -- shouting at him from downstairs with a small child in their company as well. 

THE HEATED EXCHANGE

The MC captioned his post, writing ... "Sense [sic] they wanna go viral so bad this the real story my mom got tired of my broke ass sister free loading at her house so she brought her to mine an I wasn’t going for it I already got her an apartment guess that wasn’t enough she want my car she want me to buy her a car off the lot an some more stuff." 

He adds that he once had to live out of his car and struggle to get to where he's at now, and then goes on to blame his fans for turning against him before they had the full context of the fight. 

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The reason his fans, and also non-fans, were disturbed is because it seems like he got physical with his female family members, and did in fact kick them out.

Word online is that Blueface's live-in girlfriend didn't like his mom and sis, and the assumption was that his reaction here was based off that alone. He says that's not the case though.

Sounds like he's claiming they rolled up unannounced to leech off him without his consent. *Insert grimacing "yikes" emoji here*

Originally Published -- 6:44 AM PT

YG Says He & Crew Will 'Stay Dangerous' ... After Slim 400 Shooting

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'STAY DANGEROUS'

Slim 400 wasn't meant to die after being shot multiple times this weekend -- so says his good pal, YG

The Compton rapper -- and good friend of Slim -- was leaving LAX Monday, where he gave us an update on how his friend was doing after being gunned down Friday night. 

He says he hasn't had a chance to see him yet, but lets us know straight-up -- guys from '400' crew don't go down easily. He also explains what he and his boys are gonna do now going forward as far protecting themselves ... check it out, sounds like a warning shot.

As far as how serious this shooting was, we've learned Slim 400 took 9 bullets to his body -- and based on where they hit, it's a miracle he's expected to be on his own two feet again. 

Sources familiar with the situation tell TMZ ... Slim is still in critical but stable condition as he recovers in a hospital after being gunned down Friday night in Compton. We're told doctors found he'd actually been shot 9 times, as opposed to 8 ... as we'd previously been told.

This is where he was struck, per our sources -- his upper and lower back (multiple areas), his face (jaw area, specifically) and the top of his head, which caused some internal bleeding that was dealt with in surgery. Again ... absolutely stunning the guy survived.

There's also this ... we're being told Slim's jaw has been wired shut as a result of the facial gunshot wound. Our sources say he's still heavily sedated at this point, but is expected to make a full recovery in the coming weeks. 

TMZ broke the story ... Slim was rushed to the hospital after the attack. No word on what led up to the shooting or who the culprits might be, but cops are investigating.

The Game The Documentary ... Of My Son's Epic 16th Bday Party!!!

DOING IT RIGHT

The Game went all out for his oldest kid's 16th birthday -- and he captured A LOT of it on film so it wouldn't soon be forgotten. No issues there ... we gotchu, man. 

The L.A.-bred MC put together a sweet 16 of sorts Saturday night for his son, Harlem Taylor, who was hitting the big 1-6. Papa pulled out all the stops for this one ... hiring multiple rappers to perform, and inviting what seemed like the whole damn school to slide through. 

Among those who took the stage -- Trippie Redd, Blueface and Tee Grizzley. No word if Game himself grabbed the mic at one point ... looks like he was busy working camera duty.

Harlem even got gifted a sweet ride by the end of the night -- a brand new Beamer, which he posed by as his guests looked on and admired it. Not bad for a 16-year-old. 

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The Game wrote his son a sweet birthday tribute Sunday as well, describing how he navigated fatherhood by saying ... "I let love be my guide & dove in head first learning more & more about parenting along the way." 

Game went on to shout-out his son for being a guiding light in his life, writing ... "Catch every tear, trace every step, listen as well as learn, love whole heartedly & never stop loving you... not even for a split second is how I parent. You are everything to me boy & I hope that I’ve truly made you happy on your birthday son. God knows I gave it my all - Dad"

Happy birthday, Harlem!

Mary J. Blige on BET Awards Here's the 411 on Cardi's Big Win ... No More Drama, Please

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THAT REAL LOVE
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Some folks were upset Cardi B won Album of the Year at the BET Awards -- but not Mary J. Blige ... whose opinion MIGHT just matter more than yours.

The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul was leaving TAO Sunday night in Hollywood after the jam-packed show -- in which Mary herself received a Lifetime Achievement award -- and she told us how she felt about CB getting the big prize over the other nominated artists.

Check it out -- Mary's got nothin' but love for Cardi, whom she thinks "deserved that s***!" ... no questions asked. Some peeps thought Meek Mill, Travis Scott or Ella Mai were more worthy, but Mary wasn't hearing it. It's clear ... Cardi's got her heart.

We also had to congratulate MJB on the big award she walked away with -- for which she did her OWN damn tribute, alongside Lil' Kim and others. It was absolutely epic, and if Cardi deserved AOTY ... Mary absolutely deserved a lifetime achievement.

Mary opened up to our camera guy about how it felt to be honored ... sounds like it left a bigger impact than some might have thought.

Nipsey Hussle Honored w/ Tribute at BET Awards

BET pulled out all the stops for Nipsey Hussle at its annual award show ... and the emotion onstage and in the crowd was palpable.

In a powerful moment, Hussle's family took the stage to a standing ovation, including the late rapper's girlfriend, Lauren London, and his son, Kross Asghedom, to accept the 2019 Humanitarian Award on his behalf.

"I just want to thank you guys for all of the love and support and the marathon continues again," London said briefly.

"I was so amazed that so much love was out in the world that it uplifted me," said Hussle's grandmother. "God said to Nipsey, 'You've done your job, you've made your mark.' So thank you so much world for loving him, too.' His parents also spoke briefly of their son.

The slain South L.A. MC was presented with a special tribute Sunday night during the BET Awards --where T.I. spoke some kind words about the hip-hop icon, recounting the impact he had on the community as a whole.

"There will never be another Nipsey Hussle; he was a revolutionary," T.I. said. "He was our blessing and inspired people across the world.

The powerful moment led into a musical tribute to Hussle, with performances by Marsha Ambrosius on "Real Big," YG on "Last Time I Checc'd" and DJ Khaled and John Legend leading everyone in white for an emotional performance of "Higher."

They also played a video tribute to Nipsey's life with words from Snoop Dogg, Ava DuVernay and Los Angeles Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson ... it included footage from the last video Hussle shot before his death.

Nipsey was a driving force in his community ... inspiring people to make South L.A. better by both words and deeds.

TMZ broke the story ... Nipsey was gunned down in March outside of his Marathon clothing store in the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles.

Nipsey left behind two children -- 10-year-old Emani, and 2-year-old Kross, the latter whom he shared with Lauren London.

He was 33 at the time of his death.

J. Cole, Travis Scott & Kendrick Headlining New Festival in Vegas

EXCLUSIVE

J. Cole, Travis Scott and Kendrick Lamar are giving you yet another reason to hit up Sin City ... because they're headlining the insane opening lineup for a new music festival!!!

Our industry sources tell us, the hip-hop titans have been tabbed to kick off the inaugural 3-day festival dubbed Day N Vegas ... and it's all going down this November in America's Playground!

The new festival is gonna be the place to be this fall because it's being produced by Goldenvoice ... ya know, the people who put on the biggest festivals in the country, like Coachella!

OUTTA THIS WORLD
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We're told most of the acts will be of the hip-hop variety, with a few R&B stars sprinkled in. Other acts slated to perform are Tyler the Creator, Lil Uzi, Migos, Juice Wrld, School Boy Q, Miguel, Brock Hampton, 6lack, Kali Uchis, Summer Walker, and more.

J. Cole gets the party started Friday, Nov. 1 ... with Travis Scott taking the stage Saturday night and Kendrick sending Day N Vegas out in style with his Sunday set.

Pretty baller lineup if you ask us ... and we can't wait to see who gets added. Safe to say it's gonna be lit!!!

Nicki Minaj I Want My Boyfriend in Music Vid, So Tough!!!

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Nicki Minaj is scoffing at the chorus of critics who are upset she featured her ex-con BF in her new music video, "MEGATRON" ... our Nicki sources say the public has spoken and they clearly dig it.

Nicki's boyfriend, Kenneth Petty, is all over the vid, in scenes that are scorching with sex.

People are griping she shouldn't have showcased Petty, because he was convicted of attempted rape as well as manslaughter. As for the attempted rape, he used a sharp object against a 16-year-old girl in an attempt to have sex with her when he was 15. He is a registered sex offender. And, as for the manslaughter, he shot and killed a man in 2002.

Sources close to Nicki say she's unmoved by the criticism, adding, "She's happy and in love and he's not going anywhere." They're also crowing that the video has millions of views just 12 hours in, and it's trending big.

The video is a testament to Nicki's relationship with Petty ... we're told it was meant to mirror the affection they have for each other.

Our sources say the love scenes were pretty much all first take ... because they say it was authentic.

At the time of this post, the video has 3.6 million views and it's only been up 12 hours. It's number 2 on trending.

Drake Love Ya, Champagne 'Papa' ... Gift from Son Adonis?!?

Drake seems to be giving folks a rare sneak peek into his life as a dad ... sharing what sure looks like a Father's Day gift from his baby boy.

Drizzy posted a photo Sunday of some artwork with spattered paint over stenciled-in "PAPA" lettering. He captioned his photo, "Happy Father's Day." The gift is almost certainly from his 1-year-old son, Adonis, whom he shares with French model Sophie Brussaux.

This wouldn't be the first time that Drake's shared some of Adonis' art on social media. During the holidays, he posted a photo of a handprint painting his son created. At the time, he said Adonis was greater than Picasso ...and seemed like a proud pops for it.

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As we've reported ... Drake's been bragging about his boy to friends and family since Sophie gave birth. He's had a solid co-parenting relationship with her too, sometimes sending private jets so she and Adonis can fly out to see him ... whenever possible.

Drake doesn't live with Sophie or Adnois -- we're told his work schedule doesn't allow for it. He does Facetime the kid daily though ... so they've definitely got a relationship.

Our Drake sources have also told us that Sophie's been exposing Adonis to multiple languages and the arts as well -- the proof is clearly in the paint on the latter.