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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I swear this is un-biased, Ha!!!

Taking Chucks que…on the hip-hop side of things the only thing remotely exciting is coming from Chicago, my good ole hometown. Never a city to demand attention, we are just into hitting all angles within Hip-Hop. I had dinner with Lupe the other day. He’s a couple songs into “The Cool” and ultra-excited for the possibly tricks up his sleeve because of the Halloween release date. And watch out…he traded his keyboard for some thread and a needle. In a few weeks we have Common’s album coming out. An undeniable Hip-Hop classic. The fact that its made in 2007 is even more amazing. You should already know I am into albums with singles like the one linked below…especially when explained like this…“Stronger” is also a fashion statement. It’s for people like us, who dress fresh and like to be fly…and if you don’t like the song, than more than likely you don’t know how to dress either. -‘Ye.

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Missoni Home!!!

Fresh from New York/Tokyo and back in the pilot seat and on this lifestyle stuff. Man…Missoni is an acquired taste that is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. Then I got hip to their home stuff and I am now officially hooked. Known for their wild style patterns and unique woven knits in fashion their home stuff follows the same aesthetic. Cool color combinations that can make the boringest of living rooms POP. Of course you could over do it but all it takes is one piece to set your interior decor off. Its all about the little details. Finally, no more jet lag…

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Mercedes Benz + Apple?!

Yeah, not really liking the icon I put together for this – my bad, I’m not feeling well this AM. So yeah apparently some German magazine is reporting that starting 2009 Apple will be the on-board operating system provider – so navigation, maintenance, communications, etc. Yikes. It’s almost not that shocking in that its such a great fit…but its one of those things like ‘will it ever happen though?’ Apparently so. From the info I’ve stolen off TechCrunch (check link below) it looks like Benz will have exclusive rights to the system for 6 months (not that long?!) and then its fair game for other car makers. Man…Google Maps navigation that works perfectly – would love that. Now all Mercedes needs to do is step up their hybrid game…or knock-out an all electric E-class? Or start simple and give us more of those European diesel models.

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Going to the movies…by yourself!

Ha…only on THE BRILLIANCE…random posts for real. So it was Monday afternoon and I had a long weekend, not a lot of sleep, too many drinks, too much fun, etc. So I wanted to chill a bit, but if I watch a flick at home I instantly fall asleep, you know? Seriously…I can hardly watch TV without falling asleep. So I figured I’d catch a flick, without the crew, just myself. Never done that before. The results: I plan on doing it way more often. Yeah…I’m not too cool to say it didn’t feel a bit weird sitting there by myself as all the mall-rat type dudes in puffy-ass skate shoes came in with their like-minded significant others and acted all loud in the theatre…but man, I got a bit more immersed in the movie than I usually do. Didn’t have anyone to turn next to like ‘yo, Brad Pitt always has huge collars on his shirts!’…just enjoyed the movie without distractions. I didn’t even bring my Blackberry! So yeah, if you haven’t before…go catch a movie by yourself. And the feature I saw was Ocean’s Thirteen – loved it…ch-ch-ch-check the reviews at the site below (ha, you know the deal).

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Yeah that’s right, five exclamation points. How have I gone so long without diving headfirst into the incredible resource, archive, and timewaster that is Design Sponge?! Seriously!? I’m sure I’m late on this anyways, but yeah, it’s just really an amazing site. DesignSponge is a site dedicated to home and product design run by Brooklyn-based writer Grace Bonney. I would try to compile a list of the beautiful, simple, and great things I have found so far just in the first 4 months worth of archives I have looked through, but honest to God, there is just too much to bother making a list. Often times, sites like this are filled with hit-or-miss stuff. And while there are a couple things here and there that don’t really cater to my personal tastes, on a whole it is complete quality. I am going to get myself in trouble with this site by not getting enough work done. It doesn’t help that I’ll be moving soon and have a lot of homegoods and things I’ll be buying, or at least the soon-to-be wife will be wanting to buy. That’s weird to say. But anyways, huge respect to Grace for what she does with this site and her really, really great taste.

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Riding bikes…

So I grew up around bikes…my father worked at bike shops and rode every kind of bike you can imagine – road sport, mountain, unicycle, race tandems, etc – so I was always around it, hanging at bike shops, doing the BMX thing, freestyle thing (I had the lime green Predator with the white mags), Mountain bike thing huge throughout high school even when I was skateboarding like 4-5 hours a day, etc. Then I started ‘never not working’ and I stopped almost everything except getting out on my skateboard every so often…kind of sad. I’m happy to say that about a week or two ago I switched it up!! I started researching this whole track bike thing last year…straight up fixed gear, no brakes, intense zen biking. Researched a bike I thought I’d dig…and went for it. After about 4 weeks of hustling trying to find a dealer here in the Midwest who didn’t think I was goofy for wanting a track bike for the road…I convinced my father to drive all the way from Chicago to Indianapolis to pick up my new Bianchi Pista Concept – then drive it all the way up here to Grand Rapids…thanks dad! I can honestly say after riding every day (except one rain out) for the past week or two that its one of the better investments I’ve made. I am totally hooked on the whole concept. Maybe one of the more ‘visceral’ ways to ride a bike? I love it…I even raced in the downtown Grand Rapids Alley Cat (whats up Neil) after riding fixed for only about 3-4 days – sorry, I’m kind of proud of that. So yeah…I love it, I’m hooked, and I’m already worried about what the hell I’m going to do when it snows. Is it hipster? Sure a bit…but its also amazingly fun in a perfect sized city like Grand Rapids – yes, we have big hills. Check pictures from our local race scene at the link below…

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Nathan Sawaya the Lego Magician!!

Love this…love it. Something tells me about 90% of our readers were heavy into Legos as kids. I think I made reference to it in a post before, but there is something about the ‘savvy-set’ and Legos that go hand in hand. So yeah, Nathan Sawaya who used to be a lawyer decided to quit that gig and build Legos for a living. Yes. Don’t ever tell me you can’t do what you’re passionate about for a living…honestly. He’s got the whole museum thing on lock, doing huge commissions for Fortune 500 companies, one-offs, etc. His work isn’t just novel either – its really pretty intense stuff in some case. In the image I posted this with: the ‘self-made-man’ – you have to love that. I’ll do a follow-up on this post when I get the slightly-larger-than-life Veuve Clicquot that I just commissioned Nathan to do – yeah, that’s going to look CRAZY in my kitchen!

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New Interview with Nino Scalia!

Hope everyone had a good weekend…it was quite nice here. Is the Weather Channel is getting their forecasts crazy, crazy wrong lately?! Or is it just Grand Rapids? So yeah…our new interview with Antonio Scalia who is currently managing team Ice Cream – Pharrell’s skate company. This is probably one of our better behind-the-scenes interviews we’ve had in a while. Virgil actually got this all together – many thanks to him on that. I think the first time we talked with Antonio Scalia was from an email he sent us to just say ‘whats up’ and that he liked our blog, etc…we kept in contact which resulted in an interview, good stuff. I think what I dig most about this interview is the candid responses to our equally candid questions. Ice Cream holds an interesting place in skating – it actually gets a decent amount of ‘flack’ from the community…so its always really interesting to go behind the curtain and see what really makes the brand tick. I think a lot of the ‘haters’ will be quite surprised. All that aside, Antonio Scalia is a super, super cool dude doing his thing and this interview is a peek into that life – living it and loving it…check the interview.

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Nike throws it into another gear!!

Just when all the cool kids are clearing out there closet from that ravenous stretch of shoe collecting and buying Vans for cheap, Nike knocks on the door like, “hey….I bet you wouldn’t think we’d take it here…” This shoe is so right. Nike is daring and all but this is something I wouldn’t have predicted. Thank you Comme for spurring this along. I still want a pair really bad even though I can predict they will look really bad on my feet. I mean I wear size 12, they are low tops, and have no tongue to stick out. Way to go Nike, still got me putting shoes on my shelf even though its not cool anymore. This brings about a cool concept…I got an idea and I am too entrepreneurial to spill it here, call me if you wanna hear it Mr. Parker or whoever, this could be HUGE!!! If they don’t call me I’ll spill the beans in our first book, whenever that comes out…don’t let these creep on sale at Urban Outfitters people. I will buy them all, dump them on my floor and display them like this picture and call it art…

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Real World Mac Commercial!!

Why does this feel like what it would have felt like if 2 Pac and Biggie would have sat down in 2007 talking about ‘stuff’. Sheesh….Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, just talking. I am writing this as I watch it…..amazing…just think these dudes and their crew made what I am doing possible. Wow this is too inspirational. So check these videos out, theres some real history recap going on. And this summer is gonna be incredible. That multi-touch Microsoft thing and of course the iPhone/new mac books. The irony of this real world mac commercial is just too much.