You know those commercials where brilliant experts in different countries use ultramodern communication to collaborate on scientific and technological advances that could one day change the very face of society? Well screw that noise, because you need a new T-shirt. Collaborating through eight time zones, the gents behind Illtellect tees
Furthered via email and Skype, Ill's partnership was born when a Dallas comp-consultant/DJ spied a Ukrainian graphic artist's unauthorized Kanye video on the 'net, then tapped him to co-design tees that stylishly mash old-school hip hop with other 80s/90s riffs under the banner "Sicker Than Your Average" -- referencing Biggie's nod to Yogi Bear, who was modeled after The Honeymooners' Art Carney, and...boom, you've just won Six Degrees of Jackie Gleason. Printed on fuller-cut, wider-necked American Apparel blanks, designs kick off graphically with "Day Off" (patio-lounging Ferris Bueller captioned w/ "Mutha%&#@! I'm Ill"), "The Illness" (thermometer-sucking topless chick w/ logo superimposed on skin), and "I Like 'Em": cyan-toned Halle Berry/Lucy Liu/Rosie Perez/Garcelle Beauvais arranged Blue Note album-style to flesh out the A Tribe Called Quest line "I like 'em brown, yellow, Puerto Rican or Haitian" (apparently in 1993, Haitians were not brown). Meanwhile, the "Ill Subliminals" series highlights 'ill' in existing words using contrasting colors/fonts, as with "Like Mike" ("Thriller" in Bulls black & red), "EPMD" ("Chill", from "You Gots to Chill"), and "The What!?", whose B.I.G. verse hosts five ills, lastly in "What you talkin' bout, Willis?" -- though considering quotes like "I can see through almost any scam, especially one perpetrated by the federal government", shouldn't it be, "What you talkin' bout, Gary Coleman?
In addition to local distribution, Ill's already been picked up by a trio of NYC boutiques, and by fall they'll expand the line to include crews, sweatshirts, and hoodies, for those days when, regardless of advances in international video conferencing, society just shouldn't see your face.