The Brilliance!


We’re really internet and we’re really back. A website about things Benjamin , Chuck , Virgil , and various friends & guests think are interesting. Little-to-no specific focus, a bit odd, speling errors, and incredibly culturally relevant.

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Married To The Mob, actual fashion-forward!

I don’t really write about anything fashion related – but I felt like putting this out there. I know they announced this last week or whatever, but it had to take time to marinate. So being part of this whole ‘blog-thing-scene’ and being around the street wear and also the high fashion stuff…we get bombarded with new ‘brands’ all the time. Yeah…honestly too much. But there was something new/different about Married To The Mob when they dropped a while backed…in fact we interviewed the ladies right here on this site. Fun interview. But the real point of this post is to highlight their latest collection, campaign and more important than that…this latest iteration of their actual brand. Nothing short of very impressive. They have quickly reached ‘that place’ where their logo, clothing, website, blog, etc are now just the conduits of the actual brand…a ‘gut feeling’ of the public. (Read Branding Gap!) The photo shoot and press-kit PDF thing they sent out is so fresh. The photo shoot alone is smashing every corny attempt these men’s streetwear brands have been making . Like Jeezy – I love it. So yeah…pay attention now so that in like 3-4 years you can be like ‘yo, I was up MTTM like 4 years ago kid!’ Shouts to Leah and the whole gang, congrats on your continued success.

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UK Music Import Alert, Ty!!

Here in the states it’s easy to forget that we don’t have the sole music industry in the world. Notably the UK music industry has a much broader range of music styles that make up their popular music. I don’t know how much radio is supporting Ty over in the UK, but these tracks off of his new album are such a breath of fresh air. Ideally, he could step through the door that Gnarls Barkley opened in the US but who knows. With his last album ‘Upwards’ in personal classic status I had high expectations for this latest effort ‘Closer’ and they have been surpassed. For starters any album cover that directly pays homage to music legend Grover Washington Jr. is headed in the right music direction. The production is so ‘musical’ and doesn’t get too comfortable in the same place, each track contrasts the one right before it. He’s a myspace addict so send him a message and tell him to hurry up with the US release and coinciding tour.

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Cut & Paste 2006!!!

I love the whole concept and idea behind this - just so much fun. Cut & Paste is a live digital design ‘tournament’ of sorts…a battle…the Iron Chef of art…whatever you want to call it. Basically what Cut & Paste is doing is holding 4 different events around the country on different dates - NYC on October 21st, Chicago on November 4th, LA on November 11th, and San Fran on November 18th. What I need to get out there is that they are looking for artists and designers to submit their work to be considered to be contenders in these live events! The press and exposure will be great in all different media outlets from Juxtapoz Magazine, to Giant Robot, to, Flavorpill, and more. Basically go to the website (linked below) for details on how to enter. The entry deadlines are - NYC - 9/29, Chicago - 10/06, LA - 10/13, and SF - 10/20. So get your site and work sent in for this!!! You know we don’t usually post this kind of stuff - but Cut & Paste is a really awesome concept and fun way to encourage creativity. Just a really simple, cool idea that is sure be a good time with a fun afterparty too. And hey - if you come to the Chicago event to observe or participate if you are selected, you can meet me! Because I’ll be a judge, along with Jeffrey from SkinnyCorp/Threadless, Alethya Luiselli from Leo Burnett, and Melissa and Robert Von Bjal from Red Car. Other judges in other cities include Deanne Cheuk, Sascha Lewis, Buffmonster, Jeff Staple, and more!

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The Space Blogger!!!

“LOL! OMGWTF! HEY LOOK THERE’S A PLANET!” That is an exact quote from Anousheh Ansari, the world’s first female space tourist and first ever space blogger. Ok, so that’s not really a quote from her, I made that up. But she did say “Keeping good hygiene in space is not easy!” You think? Gravity is the one thing that makes going to the bathroom possible, really…I’d hate to try to deal with what is meant to go down trying to make its way up…does that make sense? Anyways, this is really, really fascinating though. Anousheh, like I said, first female space tourist in the world - and she’s keeping a blog about it. And not only a blog, but a Flickr page about it too!. Truly a beautiful way to utilize blogs and Flickr to do something interesting…a nice departure from looking at pictures of sorta-but-not-really-friend’s weekend BBQs and reading about their favorite crappy new bands. Interesting fact - all water on the International Space Station is recycled. “Wet objects are left to air dry so the station’s water conduction unit can collect and purify the water—including from sweaty workout clothes.” This grosses me out, but when you’re in space, who cares. Do what you have to do and enjoy the view. This really has to be read and seen (i.e. her blog and Flickr) to be enjoyed. So I’ll leave you with a really great quote from Ansari and the link to the blog follows. “Here it was, this beautiful planet turning graciously about itself, under the warm rays of the Sun… so peaceful… so full of life… no signs of war, no signs of borders, no signs of trouble, just pure beauty.”

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Vintage candy packaging!

And I thought those old hip-hop flyers were cool?! These are nuts! I’ve always been a fan of vintage advertising…the old travel posters, the super cheap (but awesome) old-school French advertising posters you can get at World Market, etc. I love the simple color schemes, the ultra-simple screen printed look, the pasted-together feel of it all. Its like utilitarian marketing, and it comes out so genuine. Anyway…I got this link off the Glob and I had to post it. The ‘Snappy Gator’ is my favorite…I want a huge, huge print of this. Like 6ft x 6ft on a huge white wall. So what happened to this style of design anyway? Computers?

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Star Trak, nice move!

I am not gonna lie I put a lot of stock in what the Neptunes have done for our genres music and how Pharrell is blazing a trail with his hip-hop fame…talk about an inspirational lifestyle. Since we are ‘so internet’ here at THE BRILLIANCE I could not help but notice the the new tone of the re-vamped Star Trak website. Two thumbs way up. This is a great example of content versus coding. Granted its a bit of flash, but the content they put up is more than you normally get from a music artist standard promotional tool. The pics and videos are a nice inside look into the on goings of Star Trak. The only way the site could be anymore candid was if they had footage of the knock-down-drag-out label drama. Enjoy the user experience, search around. Be on the look out for that chrome keepall?!?!

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Billions, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and his e-thuggery!

Two posts in a row…I should be doing something more constructive. I love this kind of stuff – bringing it back to when technology was for nerds and goof-off genius types. No real point to this post, but Facebook (which I have actually never used, true story) is finally saying they are ready to sell and that over the past year they have had meetings with Yahoo, Microsoft and Viacom to discuss what the deal might look like. If you didn’t know, Mark Zuckerberg is ‘that dude’ behind Facebook – the founder. And from the sounds of it, he’s 22 and doesn’t really care what a dude in a suit thinks – who does anymore? So when Microsoft wanted an 8am conference call with all the executives of Facebook and Mark…the Facebook suits had to tell Microsoft that they wouldn’t be able to do a call that early because Mark wouldn’t be awake. Ha, classic. Here is another zinger: right in the middle of negotiations with Yahoo that went over into a weekend, Mark said his girlfriend was going to be in town and couldn’t stick around…when everyone was like: ‘yeah, but this is a billion dollar deal?!’ Mark replied ‘I don’t care, my cell phone will be off.’ You’ve got to love the Web 2.0 kids.

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I couldn’t think of a funny title…I mean, it doesn’t really need help. That’s the name… It’s a blog. Everything ‘green’ is the content, and I dig it quite a bit. With a lot of these earthy type publications or media-outlets they get a bit too…hippie for me. This is like Hippie 2.0. Less ultimate Frisbee, more eco-adventure vacations you know? Anyway, I’m really into the green thing, so I’m into this. Not much else needs to be said…I’m just trying to get my post momentum back. ***Was this post kind of boring? My bad, I’m a bit tired…

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Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor!!!

Like yesterday, when I see the black LR3 outside my apartment, I know Lupe is at Sultans Market. I hop in quick to say “What’s up”, congratulate him on his debut album which comes out today. I am like “Man…it’s been a long time coming”….he whispers something back, I can’t hear him and I am like “what’d you say?” hes like, “I lost my voice…” With his doctor in tow he was headed to the hotel with hopes that it will somehow return for a day of press and a free Myspace (i.e. HUGE) show at the Metro tonight. Years in the making and the day you need you voice the most its gone. The album is loud and clear tho. I won’t give tracks like ‘The Cool’ justice by talking about it, the audio and cough, cough movie will speak for itself. Bottom line no one can represent our niche culture in mainstream/hip-hop the way he has and will by connecting the dots connected on the 12 minute long ‘Outro’. Buy it for the blood, sweat and tears he put in the project and because THE BRILLIANCE is amongst that long list of shout outs, look out for us. Notably deserved is Chuck for his visual assitance, oh so fresh. I’ll leave you guys with my favorite moment from the legendary FNF radio shows we produced, sometimes plagued by technical difficulties.

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KIVA! Microfinance made simple…

It isn’t often that we take time out of our oh-so-busy lives to stop being super important and in a hurry for a second and think about other people. Face it, humans by nature are mostly concerned with themselves. I’m certainly guilty of this myself. But I’m trying - really - I’m trying to open my eyes to the importance of things like volunteering, participating in some kind of charity, or donating some of what I have to the places and people who have very little. But one thing some of these people out there in the world do have is hope and a dream or an idea. Enter The concept behind what KIVA is doing is absolutely brilliant and truly puts a smile on my face. Their tagline is “Loans that change lives.” KIVA “...lets you lend to a specific entrepreneur in the developing world - empowering them to lift themselves out of poverty.” In other words, you go through the site, find a struggling business somewhere in an impoverished area, decide what you are comfortable with, and you lend money to a budding business. Thus making you a donator to the working poor. Microfinance truly simplified and made easy to get involved with. And don’t worry, your money isn’t going to King Savimbi from Nigeria who has $48M waiting in a bank account for you after you give your credit card number. This is totally legit, totally pure. From their press section as quoted from CNN Money, “If you’ve got 25 bucks, a PC and a PayPal account, you’ve now got the wherewithal to be an international financier.” This really just goes to show a little can go a long way. Some of these people are asking for as little $400 to start their business!! It shows how much money is still needed for each needy business, shows pictures, and gives very good descriptions of what you’re donating your money to. I love this, I really do. Keep in mind too - this is money you are lending! As loans are repaid, you get your money back. It’s win-win, honestly. Check it out and do what you can if you are in a position to help.