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.


Young Scooter! Columbia Video!! FREEBANDZ!!

Man, the amount of hip-hip videos have we seen throughout our lives… It’s funny to think in like 50 years it is gonna be a genre of film-making that we grew up with. Thank the lord for Canon 5D’s. Of course there are like 30 per week and theres almost no rhyme or reason why one is amazing and why ones not. All it takes is an amazing shot or refreshing treatment and a video is amazing in my book. Like that Trinidad James puppy probably has its own twitter account. Google it. There has to be one… But Young Scooter Colombia has a magic to it. For me its that shot in the jungle. Of all the realistic drug visuals, this one is new. No extra people in the jungle, no extra people on the jet, no extra people in the pool. Nabil once told me, screw spending budgets on crazy sets, just buy a plane ticket instead. With that said, watch this video was shot in Miami. #whocares


No home internet, duh!

There’s a post forever ago I made on here, 2006, it was about how I was using one of those PCMCIA (ha!!!) cards on my laptop that was basically a little cellphone from Sprint that gave you a web connection wirelessly. I was obsessed with this whole concept of properly wireless internet. Even since I was in high school when I wanted to make a Packet Ham Radio modem for my TI-80whatever calculator. Wow…nerd out. Google “packet radio”. Anyway, like 2 years ago I actually committed to this whole thing - cancelled internet at my condo and added the “tethering” service on my iPhone and bought a cellular iPad too. My friends were like?!!? It seemed silly until LTE became commonplace and now my cellphone has faster internet than most coffee shops and offices - everywhere I go. iPad and iPhone combined I go through like 16-18GB per month, so its not the most cost effective - but whatever - its not that far off in price. Remember when people were like “man, I don’t think I need a landline anymore…”??? #always #internet #everywhere



It’s cool to be posting again, first off…second off, all 3 of us - Chuck, Benjamin, & Virgil, have our own individual Twitters. But…we have the Twitter name @THEBRILLIANCE now too, and it cost us a TON of money, so help us recoup the costs by following us. You get paid every time you get a follower on Twitter right? That’s how it works right? I’m not seeing any more info about this anywhere…hmm…well, we’ll have to figure that out. We might be out like a million dollars…Let’s recap:

•Follow @THEBRILLIANCE on Twitter
•Benjamin on Twitter: @benjaminedgar
•Virgil on Twitter: @virgilabloh
•Chuck on Twitter: @nopattern


Erin Benach, fashion: The Place Beyond The Pines

I mean, I want to write a whole post about the movie. Don’t know if I’ve even processed it yet, you know? And I hate reading the little synopsis things about movies like these - its like, yeah, he was a stunt motorcycle rider, bank robber, trying to take care of his kids, etc, - but those are just the physical things that happened to carry a simple and in my opinion super elegant story of humanity. Top 5 movie. Anyway, this whole post is around that fashion in this film. My goodness - was like a character itself. It’s like Ryan Gosling’s outfits in 2 hours did better at painting the picture Balmain has been trying to do for 3 or 4 years. Just brilliant. And, Dane DeHaan’s character, that baggy sweater he was wearing in the woods, with the slim jeans and black sneaker, the chain wallet, etc. Oddly perfect. Sorry - these are the details that make a story so much better - even when you don’t notice them. Everything about the wardrobe was just perfect, perfect. And new! Like it was something new - I suppose that is my favorite part.

***Ehhhh! I messed this one up, originally I said it was Meghan Corea behind these looks, then my dude @MikeCarson hit us up with THIS link. Thanks man.


THE BRILLIANCE!!! A trip down internet memory lane.

“Man…we should start a blog that’s basically these emails we write to each other. I know it sounds egotistical but whatever - I feel like people would be into reading our take on all this stuff we talk about pretty much every day and probably think it’s pretty funny too…” “Ha, yeah. We could call it The Brilliance.” “Dude… is available…” “You think we should??”

And so we did. That was basically the conversation between Benjamin and myself all the way back in 2005. Benjamin and I have known each other since 1999 and really started becoming friends around 2003. Neither of us went to college, both of us loved computers and art and the internet, and we just started talking over email at some point like..every single day. When you write an email to a friend and you’re simply shooting the shit, talking about music and weird websites and life and whatever, you don’t overthink it, you don’t ‘curate’ your email, you don’t use spellcheck, you just write. We sought to carry that exact mentality into a website and boom. THE BRILLIANCE! was born. We argued with each other in the beginning about if it was ‘cool’ to post about Carmex, edamame, Scrabble, and Chanel on this site (all some of the very first post topics). Would people ‘get it’?!? What’s the ‘theme’ here? Are we a ‘streetwear blog’?? (NO)... Ultimately we both agreed - who cares?? The goal is to write freely and openly and in our own voices. If it’s cool, people will enjoy it. Simple as that. In the beginning, we never really wanted to bring a 3rd writer on board but in the beginning we also didn’t know Virgil. Virgil was as perfect a fit for the site as a person could possibly be - equally passionate about art, music, culture, the internet, Chicago, traveling, and everything else Ben & I were. He came on board and it was seamless. Years went by and we kept at it, kept posting, and all 3 of us kept doing our things. Eventually we hit a spot where we all weren’t posting as much as the site deserved and we agreed to take an indefinite hiatus. That was almost 3 years ago to the day. Well, we all got the itch at the same time to start writing again recently and felt like it was just time. We had to bring it back. Felt like the internet just had this big Times New Roman-shaped hole in it and so here we are again…some dudes just sort of writing about whatever and hoping you dig it. And if you don’t!? SO!??!?! THE BRILLIANCE!


ONE OF THOSE POSTS. Still deciding!!!

Whoa. Writing is like riding a bike… right? I can’t even begin to tell you how much I hated english class in school. 12-page papers? Whatever. First post back. WE OUT HERE. Argh I can’t decide what to actually post about. My first idea was to talk about how ill this latest SUPREME collection is. Talk about a team designed to win. Season after season. Have you seen that editorial with James’s crib in it? Sheesh. Perfect. Tumblr? Its so omni-present why make that the first post. What a powerful tool that still doesn’t make you an Art Director cause your desktop is full. What is an Art director actually? Music? That new James Blake record ‘Retrograde’ should just come looped. Art? I now collect art from my friends. Way better outlet for a materialistic kids like me. Alexander Wang for Balenciaga? That kid popped off! He did it. He is the TRUTH. Cars. Never bought one. Just decided I need that G wagon right? How did “Started from the Bottom” instantly work in the club like 24 hours after hitting the internet. We are what… 3 years older now right? Feels right just like Benjamin was saying. My thing with the internet is its so easy to find out what is what but where can you go on the internet to get a sense of why whats-what? Stay tuned. THE BRILLIANCE… where images aren’t the idea just these random thoughts and grammatical errors.


THE BRILLIANCE! We’re a web page & we’re back!!

INTERNET #BLOGS #LOL Man!! We’re back! This is crazy. It’s been almost exactly 3 years since we took a “vacation” from posting and almost 8 years since we started. When we launched there wasn’t twitter, facebook, instagram, etc. I think myspace was getting rolling, but whatever. Images are now running the web, with only a few clear winners (JJJJound, Yimmy, etc.) Feels weird even right now to type more than 140 characters. Feels kinda good though. Chuck, myself, Virgil - shave all worked on some crazy stuff in the past 3 years - have seen some crazy stuff in the past 3 years. What can I say, we’re stoked to be back here giving our commentary - irreverent and grammatically incorrect as usual - on culture, products, music, whatever. And interviewing people we dig!!!! Man, missed that. Basically just being super internet and doing whatever we want man. Chuck and I just started this whole thing off taking our constant emails back and forth and putting them on the web, craze, I programmed the original CMS myself at a coffee shop on a DELL!!!1 I met Virgil through this site, he came on and its still the same thing today: taking all the communication and experiences the 3 of us have together and throwing them on the web.

I think I got a new tagline: “THE BRILLIANCE! We’re a web page.”

Yo! Hashtags weren’t even cool when we started, ha. Cheers to Chuck and Virgil, let’s have fun with this again.

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Apple’s “Magical” iPad.

“Whoa, the new iPhone is huge!” I gotta get this post up/out of the way while its still fresh in my mind - and while I’m watching the replay of Steve presenting it. If you read our site you know I love Apple. Some friends say I do too much - but they truly are the best when it comes to products that capture our imagination, I’ll argue anyone on that. Today Steve Jobs showed us the iPad for the first time. Hmmm. I guess I’ll just go right in - its truly beautiful looking, does what it does very well it seems, the price point is almost unbelievable (in a good way), and it will set the tone in the market. But is it “magical”? The iPhone was like getting hit in the head with a basketball in gym class - stunning. It totally changed the way you thought about phones - it really was, as they said, 5 years ahead of its time. Magical. But this iPad, especially to existing Apple users, doesn’t make you want to grab your card and immediately purchase it without thought like most of their products tend to do - they usually fill whatever need/gap PERFECTLY. So, with that said, its interesting to think that the iPad isn’t filling an existing need - but maybe creating a new one? Also, I mentioned “existing Apple users” - there is a huge chance that this is not who they are concerned about. I see my grand mother and parents who either don’t use Apple products, or are just getting into them, purchasing this device - and never seeing a reason to buy a MacBook. You know? It truly is nudging itself between the iPhone and the MacBook - and again, it will set the trend and it will be copied, period. But for us who’d seen all the patent stuff, rumors, speculation stuff - let’s be honest - it was a bit underwhelming. No flash support? No camera? Isn’t the bezel kind of big (I know its for holding)? No multi-tasking? Apps run in the middle of the huge screen at their native size??? Etc. But you know who doesn’t care even a bit about those - a ton of people with $499 to spend. Like, a TON. And if you missed Apple’s $15+B quarter announcement for the end of 2009 - let it remind you that not only do they make really, really amazing products - they make really, really amazing amounts of money and its certainly not on accident. “I have to say though, watching it is nothing like getting it in your hands.” - Steve Jobs. I’m going to admit this is the probably case, and that while I’m on the fence about one now - I’ll play with it and my heart will melt a bit. The price is unreal, this is just the first version - its only going to be approved upon. So Apple, yeah, I was hoping for something just insane - but I’m excited to watch you define a totally new category. ***Steve looks healthy too doesn’t he? Good stuff.

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NEW INTERVIEW! Maestro Knows!

So yeah, I first posted about Maestro not that long ago at all - maybe a few weeks ago at most? In that mean time, we’d been chatting and decided an interview would be fun. You really get the feeling watching Levi that he’s going to be “super big” soon - tv, documentary, movie, something we’ve never conceptualized before. A dreamer and a doer - and positive inspiration for so many kids in this culture and beyond. A great interview with him, we’re honored to have it in our collection.

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It’s getting cold in here, burr, Diplo presents: Gucci Mane!

Blend all the scenes, every single one of them!! This is one of those classic juxtapositions - I love all the people who thought Gucci was super terrible find themselves thinking: “hmm, maybe I can get into it.” Diplo summed it up best by saying Gucci never said he is anything he isn’t, he’s just enjoy himself and making music. We look at Baile Funk, for example, as this amazing sounding music from a far-off land - thus better or more “cultural” than what we have here state-side right? Thats what makes it fascinating right? I’ve always wondered what the creative kids in, say Paris, who don’t speak much English, think of Gucci Mane. You know? Or some kid in Denmark. How we seeBaile Funk could be how they see Gucci Mane, you know? There is a weird, kind of intangible thing to msuic from other cultures where you can’t understand what they’re saying, etc. Anyway - thats the magic of Diplo, anything goes - his curation doesn’t have a formula, its this beautifully messy collection of a zillion different styles of music from a zillion different cultures. Call me on it, who cares, but Gucci has this Willy Wonka approach to the entire “rap game” - super creative. What’s seen maybe as cliche, the jewelry, the cars, etc, the bravado, etc, etc - he just does it better than anyone else. The old Bart Simpson chain??, perfect. And if you haven’t seen the Miss Info interviews on youtube, they’re super interesting. All this analytical stuff aside: BURR BURR!!! ***And yeah, its “nsfw”/offensive music to some, whatever.