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Posted by on in Interviews


Johnny Trash got himself into a rather crazy adventure. Flown in for the MY Battles - International Standards in Malaysia, things didn't go according to plan. In a detailed interview Johnny Trash talks in-depth about his experience overseas and his upcoming battle against global battle legend 100 Bullets in 1Outs upcoming event 'Avalanche'. First off how did Zain get in contact with you about the event?
Johnny Trash: 1Outs had set up a battle between me and Zain, in the weeks leading up to this we had spoken about me coming to Malaysia, he wanted to bring out someone with a wordplay style to see how the Malaysian audiences would respond. I actually was actually meant to go there at a later date to battle Syd Vicious but last minute changes saw me going there for the May 3 event.

What happen when you first arrived in Malaysia and when did you first know that things hadn't gone to plan?
Johnny Trash: Oh man, basically the minute I got there. I landed at the airport, Zain was adamant for me to go straight to Burger King. I get there, ask a dude where Burger King is and in broken English he tells me what translates to me as 'Nah mate, no Burger King here'. I then manage to decipher out of him that there's a Burger King in another airport. Straight away I was like WTF? here I am in a foreign country no way to contact anyone and I am at the wrong airport. I immediately walk up to this white guy and say 'Yo you know where I can use the internet round here?' He replies in a thick english accent 'Johnny Trash??' IT WAS FLEX DIGITS!!! After exchanging what we knew was going on, we both knew then the plans weren't adding up... When did you guys meet up with Zain?
Johnny Trash: After meeting up with Flex (Who had no money due to a mishap with a money exchange) I bought us some lunch and caught a shuttle to another airport, we got there about half an hour later, waited for Zain for several hours, all in all from when we landed it was about 5 hours when Zain arrived. I can only assume he was trying to find money to pay Loe and Flex in this time. What did Zain say when you first caught up with him?
Johnny Trash: He was just apologetic about how he got confused about the airports, Flex and I were just both too tired and wanted to carry on with our journey, we caught a bus and a cab to the area we were meant to be staying, about an hour and half journey. The accommodation that had been organised had fell through. We had now been in the country 8 hours, exhausted and trying to sort out somewhere to stay. When did you find out about not having a return ticket?
Johnny Trash: Straight after I finished my battle at the event. Zain had said to me before I left Melbourne he had gotten me the return ticket, I took his word for it and went... Flex and I had discussed it over the couple days leading up to the event, how we doubted I had a ticket home, with all the other shit going wrong. As soon as the battles were over, i approached Zain on the stairs and said "Zain, I need to know, do I have a ticket home or not, I just need to know yes or no, so I can get it sorted. He replied softly 'There's no ticket'.

What was going through your head when you heard that?
Johnny Trash: Oh man, like the reality of it hit me, that I was stuck there with not enough money for a flight home, and nowhere to stay after Sunday. The guy I was staying with was returning to his home district to vote in the election on Sunday. The event was Friday night, I knew I had 24 hours to get it sorted or I was totally fucked. I remember taking a seat on the stairs and watching Loe and Flex talking about all the fuck ups and how it would be resolved. I remember Loe Pesci sayin 'How's Johnny Trash supposed to get home?' It was the million dollar question, I found myself sitting there thinking 'Yeah, hows Johnny Trash supposed to get home?' How did you get the situation resolved?
Johnny Trash: Straight away a couple of people were handing me money out of their pockets. I still didn't have enough to get home, and would have to get accommodation in the meantime. It was really a community vibe happening at that moment. Loe had given Flex the fraction he was paid to get by as Flex needed it more at the time. In the end, I had to get my girlfriend to bail me out. I didn't want to, but I had no choice. Since arriving back in Australia have you had much contact with Zain?
Johnny Trash: A couple of conversations here and there, just about reimbursing me for putting me out of pocket on the journey home and he thanked me for putting on a good battle for MY. He has been quite apologetic. I believe he has paid some of the other guys back. I have also said, I would go back to Malaysia, cos I actually give a fuck about the scene there and want to do it right. Just some issues need to be sorted first. All in all were you happy with the performance you did on the night?
Johnny Trash: I dunno to be honest, I wasn't happy with it personally. People have said it was a good performance, it just was not up to the standard I have come to expect from myself. Some have said I just looked exhausted to the point I coulda gone to sleep mid battle. I choked a couple of times, but being so tired I didn't give a fuck about choking and just talked shit, and people watching it laughed and enjoyed that. All in all the bars and the wordplay were there, just not the performance or energy and enthusiasm. I mean the battles were held in a fucking lobby, I couldn't really wild out and perform properly in any case. What positives could you take away from the experience?
Johnny Trash: Hmm positives, how easy life is in Australia compared to some other places, that's a big one. I met a lot of really cool people that I will stay in contact with for the rest of my life. The main positive, I got my first taste of battling overseas (besides New Zealand, but I was living there so that don't count) and my biggest peace of advice for someone battling overseas in a foreign environment is get comfortable, you will be out of your element, rest well and rest comfortably or else your performance will suffer. Meeting Flex Digits and Loe Pesci was real cool too, me and Flex got on really well, and we plan on meeting up for a BIG holiday in Thailand in 12 months time, so that's a positive! You've got a battle with 100 Bulletz in July, how have you been preparing?
Johnny Trash: I have started writing the concepts, punches and loose ideas around what I am gonna say and do. Really going to have to put in serious effort this time, I got one chance at this level of opponent and I am not going to squander it. Bulletz and I chop it up a bit online and he claims he's coming to Aus to son the shit out of me. So I aint taking this battle lightly. Hopefully the fans get their moneys worth and I put on my best performance yet! What's your thoughts about his performances and what do you expect him to bring to the table?
Johnny Trash: I first saw 100 Bulletz vs Kid Twist, this battle amazed the shit outta me from him. I hadn't seen anyone battle like him at that point. He is quite good at staying relevant with his rhyming. I expect 100 Bulletz to bring a performance and bars that are accessible to the local audience and the online audience who want to hear intricate technical bars. I expect him to touch on some personals and a bit of the history behind the battle also. Any other international battlers you'd like to go up against in the future?
Johnny Trash: I haven't really thought that far ahead, I am working on my first EP at the moment, which is hard to make progress on when this battle is taking my priority. Bender is the first name that comes to my mind, his multis are too good. Villun from Don't Flop would be great also. If we ever find ourselves back in Malaysia, I believe me vs Flex Digits would happen... a big IF though. Can you tell us a bit more about the EP you working on?
Johnny Trash: Well through my battling I have been introduced to Daily of Hit The Fan and Large from The Fourfront. They both make really dope sampled beats. I recorded a demo track with each of them, and after that the 3 of us decided to work on my first project together. Both of them have been involved in the scene for like, over a decade at least and know what they are doing respectively. Daily will be bringing that classic boom bap sound, and Large is a good sounding board for a few more of the experimental sounds I am looking to engage. The three of us working together should be a dope product, me on the lyrics and vocals, and Large and Daily on beats and production. This for me will be my first serious foray into music, so for me it is about growth and building on my skill set for future releases.

Johnny Trash - profile

Johnny Trash - Facebook profile

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Posted by on in Interviews


The idea of Station Battles was formed by Leonard 'Devast8r' Johnson in Sydney around February 2012 with the purpose of entertaining local fans of Australian battle rap and to create an avenue that welcomes people of all ages, genders, race or skill level. After being offered by a well respected head from New Zealand known as PVF to operate the camera and orchestrate the filming Station's first event was held on the 22nd of April 2012 in a public park in St. Peters.

Due to a sudden and unforeseen spell of rainy weather during a 4 on 4 freestyle match both the spectators and the perfomers all ended up being forced to seek the shelter of an undercover platform on nearby St. Peters train station where the scheduled day of free entertainment could continue. The large crowd of keen onlookers took up so much of the platform that the everyday commuters were literally blocked from boarding and alighting train carriages until there were breaks between filming each of the battles.

Throughout the year of 2012 Station Battles has held 7 successful outdoor events with around 60 battles in various locations in different suburbs of Sydney with the support network steadily growing stronger over this time. Station has featured battlers from all over the country and also New Zealand and the USA. 


RAN MC: What made you decide to start Station Battles? Who are some of the people behind the scenes that have helped get Station Battles off the ground from the start? How have they helped specifically?

DEVAST8R: I noticed that every major city in Australia had a battle league except for Sydney so since I was living here I thought I would start one up seeing as I had all the skill to do it. I didn't need a camera or video editors because I could just do it myself, I had already worked with other leagues in the past like 1-Outs, Got Beef and Real Talk so I knew what I was doing. The people who have really helped me out along the way I would have to say are PVF because he is the oldest friend I have in Australia and I've known him for almost 15 years now. PVF volunteered to be my cameraman while I hosted and he has continued to help Station Battles from then on. PVF has funded Station Battles also and helped put money into the battlers pockets. Another person that has helped heaps by organising battles and getting sponsors is That Guy Dave who is now my 2nd in charge, He also got a Station Battles banner made up for our 7th event. My good friend Fariginal who I have known for a few years now has also helped fund Station Battles by bringing other MCs from New Zealand over to compete here.


RAN MC: With all the battle leagues that are operating across Australia what makes Station Battles different? What can people that attend your events or watch your YouTube videos expect?

DEVAST8R: Station is different because we pride ourselves on doing what the others don't. If you watch 1-Outs, Got Beef, Real Talk and even Perth City Battles you will notice that they all do things the same. Other Australian leagues all have a kind of generic hosting system in which the boss is the one who stands in front of the camera at their events and hosts each of the battles whereas at Station Battles I'll let different battle MCs host and get some shine. we have the most extreme and out of this world hosting that generally involves a lot of loud swearing and outragous obscenities and it really hypes up the crowd. Other Australian league owners rely on someone else to do their camera work and video editing whereas at Station Battles I will take on that role myself and don't have to wait around for someone else to edit the video because I get the job done myself. Other Australian leagues title introduction credits to their videos are all generic sequences of advertising sponsors and artist's music whereas Station Battles will find the coolest footage from the previous event, throw that over a beat and incorporate that into the title introduction credits of a video. Other Australian leagues all have upload schedules for their videos and always take 2 or 3 weeks just to get a couple of battles up on YouTube whereas Station Battles will release every battle from each of our events in less than a weeks time. Other Australian leagues have their events in the same few venues most of the time whereas Station Battles will move around and find somewhere new every event. We have held battles under bridges, at the train station and even at birthday parties which we will continue to do. Other Australian leagues never come up with fresh concepts for battling whereas Station Battles will do 5 on 5 battles and 4 on 1 handicap matches, We have freestyle battles at every event and we have promo battles on the street between events. 

When people watch our videos or attend Station Battles events they can expect one thing. Entertainment.


RAN MC: How many battles have you hosted so far? What are some of the more notable battles you have seen since you started back in April 2012? What makes them so memorable?

DEVAST8R: I've hosted every battle from the 1st event to the 4th event. When the 5th event rolled around I wanted to do the camera work and let some other people have a turn at hosting for a change of pace. We have had heaps of memorable battles like the 4 on 1 handicap match where I battled four MCs at once and destroyed them all big time! We were supposed to have a 5 on 5 impromptu freestyle battle but only 4 people stepped up and then the crowd started yelling out stuff like "You battle them Devast8r!" "Go on!'' "Four on one!" and after the crowd was set on seeing it happen I just jumped in and did it. The first Station Battle which was a 4 on 4 was memorable too because it was the first time it had been done anywhere in the world to my knowledge? We've also had a 5 on 5 at our second event which was also a first for battling I believe? At Station's fourth event we had a 3 on 3 gone wrong where 3 rappers were supposed to battle another 3 rappers (obviously) but then one of the guys was too drunk and started interrupting the other team and then one guy from the opposing team started taking it personally and having a go at him. Eventually that turned into a 1 on 1 battle. Overall I think Maniac vs DnD was really the standout because Maniac got the loudest crowd reaction we had seen all year and it's still the loudest we have had to this day.


RAN MC: Are you planning on taking Station Battles to an indoor venue again in the future? Are you happy with the free outdoor style of event that you are currently known for?

DEVAST8R: Station Battles have had two indoor events so far which were our 5th and 7th events. We will be doing a lot more indoor events in 2013 and will start putting on an entry fee at the door.


RAN MC: There is a lot of negative criticism aimed at Station Battles for some reason why do you think that is? What do you say to those that criticise Station Battles as a league? 

DEVAST8R: Why do I think they do it? Because they know Station Battles is a threat to their company but fuck them! because only makes us stronger!


Station Battles on battleREP
Station Battles on Youtube
Station Battles on Facebook

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Posted by on in Interviews


Johann 'Jon' Uriarte is better known by his alias Protege is a Filipino rapper and producer residing in Quezon City in the Philippines. He was a member of the hip hop groups Talksic Ways with Leymans Terms, Anygma, Liquid, Mic and Skarm and also Audible MCs who had been performing and putting out music for several years in the Filipino scene.

Officially entering the Filipino battle scene Protege first competed in the 'Blow Up the Spot' event in 2002 and went on to compete once again in both 'URGE Battle' and the Wave 89.1 Beatbox and Emcee Tag Team competition in 2004. The following year Protege took out both the RX 92.1 'Survival of the Illest' and 'Blazing Battle' in 2005 before taking a step back from battling to record and release the 'Undivided Attention' LP with Audible MCs in 2006. In 2007 Protege returned to the battle scene entering the AMPON 'Verses II' then the 2nd 'Sunugan Battle Royale' and in 2010 before stepping into the Fliptop Battle League and onwards to King Of The Dot in Toronto, Canada. Talksic Ways have an online album available which was released in 2011 and currently Protege is working on his first solo album to be released very soon.

Protege will be travelling to Melbourne to 1-Outs: Rampage event on Saturday March 16th and taking on Manaz Ill in the headline match. I caught up with Protege to talk about the Filipino scene, his music and his upcoming battle.


RAN MC: Could you tell the fans and readers more about the battle rap and hip hop scene in the Philippines? With a population of over 92 million people is it a large music scene?

PROTEGE: The Philippines is known to have had the first hip hop music scene in Asia, which started in the early 80s. There’s a whole history here, and there have been a lot of Filipino hip hop heads since way back. Actually, it’s not just hip hop—Philippine music in general runs really deep but isn’t properly recognized. Fliptop helped to revive the hip hop scene and now battle rap has a huge following since not just hip hop heads watch it.


RAN MC: When you started battle rapping at 'Blow Up the Spot' in 2002 did you ever think that 10 years later you would represent the Philippines in a worldwide battle rap event such as King Of The Dot: World Domination?

PROTEGE: No way. I was wack back then and got eliminated in the first battle of the first bracket of that tournament. Even until now I still got a lot to learn and improve on. I miss those non-acapella freestyle battles.


RAN MC: What does it mean for you personally to be known as an ambassador for the Filipino scene in countries such as Australia and Canada?

PROTEGE: I don't really see myself as an ambassador for the Filipino scene, but I know what you mean since a lot of people see it that way. I think it’s a misconception since I really only represent my own craft and style of hip hop, and not a whole country. Being one of the only ones from the Philippines to be invited to participate in battle leagues around the world is great though. I think my craft has evolved enough over the years with the work I’ve put into it, to deserve it.


RAN MC: Do you have any plans to keep travelling and battling in other leagues across the world?

PROTEGE: It depends. I’ve been battling on and off for quite a while now but my heart’s always been with making music. I know battling helps me get my music out there so we’ll see. There will come a day, though, when I’ll be done with battling for good and sticking purely to music.


RAN MC: Who are some battle rappers that you would like to battle in the future before that day comes?

PROTEGE: One of the guys I wanted to battle is Bender from King of the Dot because I have a lot of respect for that guy’s music and lyricism. That battle is actually about to happen in Fliptop a few months from now.


RAN MC: What else does the future hold for you creatively? More Music? Battles? Shows? Tours? Collaborations? Videos?

PROTEGE: I’m about to drop an album and as soon as that drops, I’m gonna start working on the next one right away. I’ll surely be doing videos and shows and trying to get my music out as much as possible. 


RAN MC: Here in Australia you are battling Manaz Ill, Have you seen many of Manaz battles? What do you think of his style as a performer compared to your own? 

PROTEGE: I think I’ve seen three Manaz Ill battles. His style is solid and he’s a tough dude to battle. I’m looking forward to it.


RAN MC: Are you excited to be making the trip to Australia to battle? Who are some of your favourite competitors from Australia and why?

PROTEGE: Yeah I’m definitely looking forward to this trip. I have to say that aside from Manaz Ill, 360, Anecdote and Justice, I haven’t really watched any other battlers from Australia except for a few others here and there that were involved in international matches. I remember back in around 2002-2004, there was this one Australian emcee on the internet who went by the name of Chincheck and I used to look up to him. I haven’t heard about him ever since though. 


RAN MC: Do you think more Australians or battle rappers in general should travel to compete and perform in other countries? What has it done for your music and battle career?

PROTEGE: Travelling to battle in other countries is definitely cool for the experience. Fliptop and King of the Dot got me a lot of supporters so that’s good. It’s like it gave me a voice and now I have people who want to hear my music and book me for shows.


RAN MC: Where can fans and readers get hold of some Protege, Talksic Ways and Audible MCs music?

PROTEGE: We’re no longer promoting the Audible MCs stuff, and the Talksic Ways music is out on YouTube. Both groups are no longer active though, so I usually encourage people to just wait for my upcoming solo releases. It’s taking me a while to finish this first one since I’m doing all the beats and recording and mixing it as well. I’m trying to make it well worth the wait, though.


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Posted by on in Interviews



Juggling a full time job, family, battle league, music career & heaps more things can be a difficult task at the best of times but Dwizofoz keeps on paving a yellow brick road to success.

Dwizofoz began rapping with fellow Brisbane local Darcy 'Ghosty' Sullivan in a crew 'Ozalians' around 2001-02 after meeting in a studio during a music related community service program for juvenile charges for graffiti, stolen cars and assault. Dwizofoz attributes his introduction to Australian hip hop to being dubbed on an Evil Eddie ozhiphop compilation tape consisting of lyrical commission, bias b, drapht, hilltop hoods and more and says he owes the world to Ghosty AKA Darts MC for schooling him on the finer points of the art form.

Ozalians started with Dwizofoz and Ghosty and later was expanded with the introduction of both Strooth and Lyshastyles. The group never released any albums or mixtapes however, they had a strong presence in the charts.

During the period of 2002-2007 Ozalians supported the likes of Muph & Plutonic, Art of War, Bias B, Hyjak N Torcha, Mind Over Matter, Justice & Kaos and a number of established and up and coming artists around that time.

Ozalians disbanded in 2007 as Ghosty had moved away and started to work with a new group once he returned so Dwizofoz started focusing on launching himself as a solo performer working closely with Plague with a great productivity rate recording 30-40 tracks both solo and collaboratively in the span of only a few short months and eventually he met up with MC Rotheee to construct and release his 'Baked Not Fried' EP in 2009 on independent label Kut Paste Records.

The 'Baked Not Fried' EP landed Dwizofoz a place on the stage opening up for Australian heavyweight acts Lazy Grey, Kingz Konekted, Fluent Form, Maundz, Jake Biz, Mata & Must and also American hip hop icons Onyx as well as landing one of his tracks in the Obese Records compilation 'Obesecity 2', playing in the inaugural Robert Hunter Memorial Cup and performing at both Sprung Hip Hop festivals.

Aside from his earlier projects and the start of Real Talk Battle League a few years ago Dwizofoz is still just a father with a fiancé that just wants to make some good quality music and keep his family tight. I caught up with Dwizofoz not long ago to have a talk about his music and battle league, his path and where it has taken him and where he would like it to lead him in the future.


RAN MC: Lets start from the beginning. What inspired you to start up the Real Talk Battle League?

DWIZOFOZ: I started Real Talk purely and simply because in Brisbane there were a couple of guys that were blatantly bringing written material to our local freestyle battles called "Megiddo". I had never even seen or knew of Grind Time Now, Jump Off, WRC and the only battling I had seen at the time was Battle4Supremacy, Scribble Jam and Rap Olympics type stuff which was purely freestyle over beats. Essentially I wanted to see "Megiddo" stay pure to freestyle so I decided to create a level playing field and start events where writtens were accepted. Our first event was called "T.I.T.T.S" - Take It To The Streets. Real Talk Battle League replaced it pretty quickly though.


RAN MC: Describe Real Talk Battle League in its early days compared to where it is now. Did you ever think that it would get to where it is now?

DWIZOFOZ: Man it comes and goes cycles. In the early days I felt it was more of community but a lot less organised. Events would end in the early afternoon out on the streets of Fortitude Valley and after events finished there would still be around 50 to 60 people just hanging around loitering outside venues after we were finishing up. There was a little bit of drinking, smoking, rapping, networking, drunken hook-ups and all sorts of stuff like that. Nowadays we're a lot more organised, we have better prizes from our sponsors, we dont run over time but it almost takes some of the fun out of it sometimes. We'll be working harder to bring that old school vibe back but still keep things organised in 2013.


RAN MC: Running Real Talk Battle League must be a challenging task. What are some issues you face as the league's General Manager and how much does it affect your day to day life?

DWIZOFOZ: To be honest my biggest challenge is securing the matches. If everybody stayed as humble and open minded towards the opponents we give them as they are for their first few battles we'd have a lot less frustration involved in organising our events. That and when people have to or willingly choose to pull out of battles. It gets to be so painful, almost every event we expect to lose 1-2 in the weeks beforehand.


RAN MC: How important is the addition of RT Gauntlet to the emerging battlers and the overall league?

DWIZOFOZ: I think the RT Gauntlet is crucial to the growth of the league. The basic reality is that the same guys aren't going to battle forever so we always need to be looking for new people to take their place after a while and RT Gauntlet as a feeder league gives people a chance to test the waters before jumping in the deep end so to speak. In one year we've found at least 5-6 guys that all have the potential to become true threats. I have to give props to OnCredit in Adelaide and RekQ in Brisbane for hosting and holding down their respective RT Gauntlet divisions.


RAN MC: What are some of the most memorable battles you've hosted and why?

DWIZOFOZ: Oh man. Both Manaz vs Illmaculate and JayLegend vs TheSaurus were incredible main event matches. I think Manaz vs Devast8r was absolutely hilarious too. Kase Won vs Kawstik was the first ever Real Talk title match that was heated as hell and it remains to this day a real clash of 2 beasts with the pen. Big K.O.Z vs Dove for obvious reasons. Big K.O.Z vs JayLegend and Chase vs Nikoteen. They are all battles that rank highly with me..


RAN MC: What can we expect from Real Talk Battle League in 2013?

DWIZOFOZ:  More of the same things people have come to expect from us, but amped up to another level and a higher standard. Going back to our old event format of having live sets, open mics an things of that nature. Expect good things.


RAN MC: You do a lot outside of your own music. Do you wish you had more time for your own music or are you happy with the path you've chosen?

DWIZOFOZ: Yes and No. Im still trying to find a balance between my music and Real Talk Battle League but I definitely dont feel I've chosen hosting, organising and running battles over music or anything like that. I have invested a lot in the past few years as has Gil Goon who runs the league with me, but I have no regrets. This year I will be looking to swing the workload ratio back toward music though.


RAN MC: You've got nearly 6000 people following Real Talk Battle League on Facebook, nearly 3000 Youtube subscriptions, over 300 Twitter followers and various sponsor backing you. Did you ever imagine that your small Brisbane battle community would expand this much as a professional business?

DWIZOFOZ: I still don't consider Real Talk Battle League a professional business and I try not to handle it like that. I put a finger up at anyone who says I'm not "professional" enough because I don't try to be what they consider professional. I'm just an MC who hosts regular battle events and have been fortunate enough to have others come along and help make it bigger and better.


RAN MC: What was it like being involved in the Robert Hunter Memorial Cup?

DWIZOFOZ: Amazing. Incredible. Awe Inspiring. The vibe surrounding the whole weekend was on the most united, positive experience I've ever been a part of within the Australian hip hop community. Memories that will last a lifetime. Go Kings! RIP Hunter.


RAN MC: What other projects outside of Real Talk Battle League can we expect from you in 2013?

DWIZOFOZ: My album 'Art Intimidates Life' is coming in 2013 and I am starting work on a new EP as a side project and I'll be helping Exit Strategy and Flowz try push some releases as well. Heaps of vids from the team at Mindkill to go along with the music too. WDM469.



Watch the latest Music Video, Take Whats Mine - From DWIZOFOZ's upcoming album 'Art Intimidates Life' coming soon.
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