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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Saab, Born From Jets!

I really like Saab. I don’t own one, but I have driven a couple. And it’s always on my mind in-terms of what my next purchase may be. Anyway, Saab just launched a new marketing campaign that reaches back to their heritage as jet aircraft manufactures. See, this always impressed me about their brand…amongst other things. They built some wild looking jets back in the day, then transferred and awful lot of little aircraft idiosyncrasies into their cars. The ignition placement, the ‘night-drive’ mode where only the speedo is lit, and various other small things. I am all about heritage…I love when brands grow from their own heritage. And this is a super-ace move on Saab’s part. They are doing a whole campaign with commercials that have Saabs driving under low-flying jets in the slat-flats, Saabs in hangers, and various other marketing materials that beautifully stick with the minimalist Saab image while really reflecting the raw power/energy of fighter jets. I don’t know man…I think this is truly brilliant, and I hope the best for them. The agency handling all this is Lowe & Partners Worldwide. Also…check the new body-style on the 9-5…very fresh. Long post. THE BRILLIANCE! loves Saab.

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Charles & Marie!!

My man Jason Gregory from MAKR reminded me of another good dude, Josh Spear who put me on to a great new site called Charles & Marie. It’s a really great blog resource that reminds me of a mix between MocoLoco, Cool Hunting, and the very site you are reading right now, THE BRILL0TR0N. I am loving the modern look and feel of the C&M site. It feels like a good homelife/design magazine to me. And hey - you can’t not like a fresh blog like this that was featured in the new issue of TIME magazine. These guys are on top of things in a big way. Posts about art, interior/exterior design, architecture, fresh gadgets, and just a lot of really interesting stuff. Clean, crisp site. I will definitely be stealing some of their posts and news to post on THE BRILLIANCE in the future. Ha…but really though. Check it out. And hey - I had grits for breakfast with just a little bit of salt and brown sugar. Was good.

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Refill Issue Five.

I like what Refill does…in fact, I have their Bape x Refill on my coffee table. It takes a lot to make it onto my coffee table. They are hitting us with issue number 5. Looking good. Features on Sk8thing, Mr. Cartoon, Nick Knight, and aNYthing. Click here for a quick sample of the aNYthing layout…I love what A-ron is doing with all that. Just looks fresh, something new about it. Anyway though, Refill does a great job…good printing, cool ‘accessories’ that come with each issue, good packaging, etc… It’s basically a book. I need another Diet Coke…in fact, I need a fridge in my office, my bathroom, my car, and everywhere else I go filled with frosty Diet Cokes.

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Ghostface, Kilo is a…

I had no choice…I had to post it. The School House Rocks / Sesame Street beat…what can you say. I’m just happy Juelz Santana didn’t get his hands on this beat first. Ghost’s flow is really on-point right now…feels fun again. More creative or something. What’s going on over at Def Jam? Who did this beat? It’s so perfect. It’ll be in my car tomorrow for sure. I’m typing this in like cut-up sentences. Not sure why…maybe cause it’s 1:37 AM. Rae’s verse was…ok. I could try and write something funny or clever here…but I’ll just give the link. Ghostface is in my top 3. THE BRILLIANCE! Loves Ghostface Killah, G-Deni, Tony Starks, and Iron Man…He seen it like a Zenith. …dedicated dealers, during holidays we give them lighters…

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OMG NYC Real Estate?

I usually do my little weekly NYC real-estate thing here… But I thought I would post a little something in regards to the latest issue of Fortune magazine and their cover story about how Tom Barrack is pulling out of US real estate. What can you say…the guy has literally made billions in the US market. Flipping at it’s finest. In short, the whole write-up revolves around Tom’s feeling that there is too much amateur money chasing deals. There are of course still good deals to be had and money to be made, especially in niche markets, but in general it’s becoming an overcrowded market. Too many condo developers doing pre-construction sales that won’t be done for another 18 – 24 months…with ever increasing construction and materials cost that will ultimately raise the final price of the units causing all those amateur speculators to back out. Leaving a ‘glut’ of empty and over-priced condos on the market. Yikes. Interesting though, this could introduce a whole new renter demographic to the game…which can be a great thing for investors, but not for the overall economy. Whatever though. Check the link below…full article, like 5 pages long, good time waster.

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Artcoup Photography. Wow…

I think it’s safe to say that I haven’t seen such powerful and intense photography in a long time. Maybe ever?? I know I’d seen Boogie’s site before, but today was the first time I really, I mean really looked through it good and hard. The drug stuff blows me away, just how real and intensely sad and scary it all is. Also make sure you check the ‘gangs’ section, that’s a must for sure. I think it’s so intriguing to me because it’s all so far from anything I’ve ever experienced. I did not grow up in a big city or on urban streets, never have been involved in any drugs, and generally haven’t been around the types of people that are in these photos. It’s just a natural attraction to something foreign to me I suppose. Beautiful and raw are probably the best words to describe the photos. So go check them out. I think I’ve got a new idea for someone to interview…anyways, I’ll be headed to the dangerous streets of Bloomington/Normal, IL for the weekend. Have a good one!

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The Niche Market in NC!

There’s nothing particularly innovative about this store…looks pretty nice, they carry some good brands - Adidas, Vans, Stussy, Paul Frank…it’s not groundbreaking…but it’s in Charlotte, North Carolina. And as far as I know, there aren’t many other places like this in that area. And that is what is innovative about it. I guess I just like to think big, but imagine putting a store like this in an area that has never been exposed heavily to ‘smarter street fashion’ so-to-speak…one little store could affect a generation’s style in a certain location, couldn’t it? Maybe I’m rambling, I don’t know. I just have a lot of respect for people who open their own stores in areas where it is risky that the success will flourish…Or just anybody who makes things happen in general. Naw whattum sayin?

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The Apartment & YMCA!

This is two real-estate related posts in a row. But this one is only half real-estate…the other half is concerning a creative agency know as ‘The Apartment.’ I really like what these guys do. Here is why: They are one of the only agencies who took the steps before others to mesh marketing/branding/and interior design+architecture as one product. Each can be sold as its own service…but, for example, in the case of a new residential loft building project…all of those services will come into play at one point. You must design the space, you must brand, and you must market. Having one agency execute all of these with a clear vision has some pretty sincere results. Such as their latest, the YMCA project, as seen in the latest issue of Interior Design. It’s really an incredible space. Check the link below for more info and check their whole site and get familiar with what these guys are up to. Thanks to Stefan for this…keep doing your thing guys.

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Mark Romanek is…

one of the biggest artistic inspirations to hit me in a very, very long time. I have been subliminally searching for new creative inspiration for a long time now, always checking out artists sites online, portfolios, work in magazines…but nothing has struck me quite like Mark Romanek’s DVD in the Director’s Label box set struck me. His vision, his story, his eye, and most importantly his final product (the music videos) are so striking to me…this isn’t really ‘news’ so-to-speak, but I just only recently bought that DVD and watched everything on it over and over again. More info on that DVD and others at Director’s Label. Anyways, Mark’s videos for Fiona Apple, Jay-Z, Johnny Cash, NIN, and my new favorite video of all-time, “Can’t Stop” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers are all included on the DVD. It’s pretty much a must-buy. The best DVD in my collection, right alongside my World Poker Tournament DVD set. Ha…I’m not kidding. Anyways, I have now told myself I will work with Mark someday. And when I say things like that, I mean it. Someday…

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Stussy’s online store!!!

Of all the online stores I order clothing from, I’d say Stussy is probably my favorite. Always stocked with a ton of stuff, great product shots, and one of my favorites - multiple colors of every shirt available in most every size, you can’t go wrong ordering from No, I’m not getting paid for this, and it sounds like an ad, but whatever. $20 tshirts that fit great, lots of fresh jackets and hats, and Stussy oven mits (just kidding. not funny, I know)...but anyways, what’s up to my man Paul at Stussy. Good guy. Go order something from Stussy right now. Get that Neighborhood X Stussy tee maybe…I love the graphic on that one.