The Brilliance!

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#INTERNET Ah, we're back! Like we said, we were just "chilling out" for like 3 years. Feels good to have the team back writing. Still us three: Chuck, Benjamin, and Virgil. Got new interviews coming up, and hopefully we'll be posting on a regular basis, who knows. We also interviewed each other, check: CHUCK, BENJAMIN, VIRGIL...

KAWS bootlegs - beware.

Update - want a little proof? Check this item on eBay - 7331122343. It may still be an active auction if you check it soon after I post this, but give it a day or two and check back, it will be gone. Here is a screenshot of the auction while it was live. These get pulled for a reason.

There have been a few of these KAWS posters popping up on eBay and a few other random sites in the last couple weeks…One of them being the David Sims / Kate Moss photo, the Iggy Pop helmet, and a few others. Who knows how many are actually out there, but please know these are bootlegs. KAWS never actually produced these or granted the rights to have them produced, so watch it. If you try putting one on eBay, it will get taken down, and if you buy one you are getting a fake. Always stick to the official Kawsone site. If you want to see some really hot KAWS stuff that a lot have not seen, head to Seattle and go to Rudy’s Barbershop next to the Ace Hotel on First Ave.

Kanye West & Paul Wall!!!

So, I’m watching 106 & Park on BET, like most 20 year old white guys from the suburbs do at 10:30 AM on weekdays…And they had Kanye on as a special guest showing the new video for “Diamonds Are Forever”, which let me add is a super cool video…anyways, they started bugging him to drop names of who he collaborated with for his upcoming album Late Registration. He tried keeping his lips sealed for this one, but couldn’t help it and said “I got a joint with Paul Wall.” I think that’s a pretty damn sick collaboration right there and I’m looking forward to it. Jay, Cam, the singer from Maroon 5 which is really weird but interesting, and more are all on the album. You heard it here first.

Keep A Breast charity!!!

OK, so this might at first seem a little weird, but it’s for a very worthy and great cause. Keep-A-Breast is an organization that holds events for people to come to and [women] can have molds made of their breasts/torso. Then an artist paints the molds and they are later put up for sale at an auction later in the year. According to their website, on May 22 in the UK they raised $32,000! They donated 100% of it to a breast cancer awareness organization. It’s really a pretty great concept and it really is a beautiful cause, so if you’re in NYC June 18 & 19 make your way to the event. See the NY flyer here. Thanks to Dianne for the info.

½ THE BRILLIANCE is in Maui!!!

Yessir. I leave in in like 12 hours, how do you love that? I know I love it. I’m talking about beaches, rain-forests, waterfalls, girls, doing absloutely nothing, waterfalls, coconuts, wild orchids, beaches, waterfalls, all my crew (except Chuck!)… I mean, what can I say? So yeah, catch me chilling in Lahina and exploring Hana in the next week or so…. Oh yeah, I probably won’t be updating THE BRILLIANCE! much, but I may drop a thing or two if I can find an internet café or something. Matt, Consing, Brandi, Jason, and Martin…let’s enjoy ourselves! Chuck, hold it down!!! And I’m out!!!!

NOPATTERN + GARCIA MARQUEZ gauche!

Something new. NOPATTERN and GARCIA MARQUEZ gauche team up to do a limited run hand-bag for the Japanese market. It’s quite nice. I’ll be honest, I don’t know a whole lot about GARCIA MARQUEZ gauche, but seems like I have seen their stuff before, quite hot. Either way, a very classic pattern / designer from Chuck on a large hand-bag…great shape, I love the link handles, so fresh. As for pricing, I believe it is roughly 27,000 YEN or about $250. Take a look at the link below for the GARCIA MARQUEZ gauche site. Very nice, props to Chuck on this one.

2006 Aston Martin V8 Vantage!

I don’t care if it’s the ‘cheapest’ Aston. It’s still an Aston. And it’s beautiful. Aston Martin has to be, hands down, my favorite car company. The craftsmenship, the design, the overall ‘feel’ of the brand. It’s so…crisp and British regal. As for this new Vantage, it’s priced at roughly $110,000 when it drops in 2006 which is quite a steal compared with the $275,000+ for the Vanquish. It really competes with the 911 and SL in terms of pricing and performance, but none of the other brands match the feel of an Aston. So yeah, I’m not going to be buying this within the next year, but check me in a couple years…whoa. Cars like this motivate the hell out of me. Same with really nice condos…but anyway… And I love Aston Martin’s HQ, so fresh.

Hip Hop Colony!!!

‘Kenya is not just about lions, giraffes and fast running men…it’s also about studios and hip-hop!’ This is the tagline for my man Michael Wanguhu’s new independent film ‘Hip Hop Colony’. With MTV taking on Africa as a hot new market this year and a lot of focus being put on African hip-hop, Michael is at the top of the game with his film. I had a chance to meet Michael when he was in Chicago a few months back and he is very passionate about what he’s doing with this film and it really is important to check it out and educate yourself on this historic movement that’s going on over there. The next screening for ‘Hip Hop Colony’ is June 24 at 3pm in Houston - more info and news updates here. THE BRILLIANCE! loves ‘Hip Hop Colony’ and Michael Wanguhu. News sites/editors out there - PLEASE spread the word on this. It needs and deserves attention and press FAR more than those goofy new limited edition Dunks you’re getting all giddy about. OK!

Ace Hotel in Portland!

The now infamous Ace Hotel of Seattle is expanding into Portland! And let me tell you, if you don’t know about the Ace Hotel you really had better ask somebody. I did a write up on the Ace before, so I don’t need to rehash all of it…but, it is hands down the coolest hotel I have ever stayed in. 24 rooms of perfect design and execution and Portland, you guys get 55 rooms, yesir. I’m not 100% sure when the Portland location opens, but keep your eyes peeled for real. I can’t wait to see what they come up with. Also…check us in a couple weeks for the full feature/interview on Alex Calderwood, The Ace Hotel, Rudy’s Barbershop, Neverstop, and the whole empire. Shout out to Alex! Stay tuned.

Custom Kicks Showdown!

I usually don’t post stuff like this. But I like this one…and for a good reason. It’s a customer sneaker design contest sponsored by Reebok and Finish Line where the entrant must take a pair of Reebok sneakers and ‘pimp them’ (ha) or customize them to their liking. Cool thing about this one is that the winning designer gets his shoes actually manufactured by Reebok and sold in Finish Line, a 3 day vacation in Boston touring Reebok’s HQ and $1,000 to spend on Reebok products. All the cash from the sale of the custom designed shoe goes to a charity of the designer’s choice. Reebok is doing their thing one step at a time, props to them. Cool contest concept, but I’m not feeling the name.

Conflict Diamonds Remix!

Man, I post about Jay and Kanye like people post about Nikes. Whatever. Anyway, interesting track here. Kanye felt he needed to do a quick remix clearing up both the meaning behind his track Diamonds and his personal feelings on the whole issue of rappers (or anyone) buying ‘Conflict Diamonds’… Interesting stuff, his line directed at Jacob The Jeweler is pretty funny. Jay also gets on the track, but he doesn’t really touch on the whole Conflict Diamond issue…he does have some interesting verses concerning Bleek. Check the Ill Community over at AllHipHop.com for this track. And read up on Conflict Diamonds, matter of fact, read up on the whole gem trade, it’s crazy.