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Tag Archives: HEX

  • Ghost Writer: Darius Fong - Not So Ordinary

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    Darius Fong is, first of all, a friend.  But he is also a music entrepreneur, and Grammy-Award-winning audio engineer who produces as thePREFCT.  His production credits span from rock bands like Weezer and Cold War Kids to jazz legends like Herb Alpert, Sergio Mendes and Natalie Cole.  In 2013, Darius founded weeSPIN, a social music app that let's people listen to music together, like a digital jukebox.  We always like what he has to say and we hope you do too.

    I fell in love with coffee in LA. Or maybe I should say, I fell in love with LA through coffee.

    When I first arrived in Los Angeles I was intimidated.  I was not intimidated by its massive sprawl or by its traffic flow.  I was intimidated by its creative energy that spreads miles and miles.  I felt like a painter staring at a blank canvas.  It was nerve racking, thrilling and inspiring all at the same time.


    As a young producer trying to make waves, there aren’t too many cities like LA.  I guess you could say that I was a skeptic at first, but coffee changed my mind.  When Handsome Coffee Roasters opened in downtown LA, I witnessed an entire community coming together, and I finally got it.  I began to understand coffee.  And through coffee I began to explore cities and meet other like-minded individuals.  It is no coincidence that both areas like SOMA in San Francisco and Culver City in Los Angeles are becoming hubs of some of the most disruptive businesses, and at the same time have the best coffee to offer.

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    I recently took a trip back to Hong Kong where I was born.  Most people know Hong Kong as the high rise jungle.  But they rarely get a deeper look into what makes this city special. The spaces in between.  The life that happens all around.  Whenever I return, I become hyper aware of all the nuances that I didn’t notice before.  I begin to explore everything, and this time through coffee.

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    The many characters of coffee are often simplified by being strong or weak.  When I finally started to explore the tastes of coffee, I began to notice unique notes that characterized different regions of the world.  I began to develop a repertoire of notes that I can pull from and compare.  Diving deeper into a cup granted me a heightened sense of everything else around me.  And my daily adventures are always a cup away.

    In a way, coffee has granted me a fresh perspective of home.  Home is not where you live but where you belong. What was ordinary is not so ordinary.  Everything is amplified. Every alley becomes beautiful in its own way.

    - Darius Fong

  • The Faces Of Grajaú


    I had a rare opportunity to visit Grajaú which is one of the Favelas (slums) of São Paulo.
    I'd been to one other favela in Salvador years ago, and it was definitely a life changing experience.


    We woke up pretty early so we could spend most of the day there. As we arrived, I had an unsettling feeling for two reasons; 1. Because of what I saw in Salvador, and 2. This time I would be carrying my RED Camera around with me.
    Leo assured me that everything would be ok - he was our "guide" in Grajaú.




    The first place we went to was a local skatepark, so that made me feel a little better. We hung out with the local kids there, who at first were a little suspicious of me and my camera. Once Leo told them who I was and what I did, they instantly warmed up to me. It's amazing what being a skateboarder can do.


    We then left with a few of the kids from the park and went into the neighborhoods. Walking around the favela's with a camera and tripod can create a lot of attention, but Leo assured me that everything would be fine. Knowing that, I put my guard down and began shooting everything I saw.




    Grajaú was truly an amazing experience that I'll never forget.  These are some of its faces.

    Mais Amor Grajaú


    By Ricki Bedenbaugh, Contributor
    Check out more about Ricki here.

  • Field Report: KITH Pops Up For "West Coast Project"

    Ronnie Fieg and his style juggernaut, KITH were at it again last Friday opening a pop-up on Abbot Kinney in Venice.  The event marked the release of Ronnie's collaboration with Asics, dubbed the West Coast Project.



    The space, imagined by Bang 3 Design, looked incredible in shades of blue, white and silver.


    As you would expect from a KITH release, the line formed the night before and stretched around the block.  It still dragged way down the street when we arrived for our personal tour of the shop.



    I must say that the shoes, themselves, are definitely worth the wait.  Ronnie's vision for the rebirth of the Gel-Sights comes in two colorways, dubbed Atlantic and Pacific.  I copped a pair of the Pacific's, myself. So get your hands on a pair of these!  The buzz was big and Ronnie delivered once again on the expectation.


    HEX Co-Founder, Dan Maravilla checking out the new kicks


    Dan Maravilla and Thomas Cykana, KITH


  • Ghost Writer: Brian Kachinsky - Bikes Over Baghdad


    We first met Brian Kachinsky a fews years back at Woodward West.  We liked his vibe and style, and he liked our gear so it was pretty easy to get along.  Brian calls downtown Chicago home, but his second home is wherever his suitcase happens to lay at any given moment. He has been in the BMX game for a while and is still riding as hard as ever. Known for his unique and aggressive approach to street riding, Brian has traveled all around the world and ridden in some of the most obscure, and often forbidden, locations on the planet. Brian has been a long-time friend of Hex, but once the backpack comes off, it’s game on.  We hope you enjoy Brian's exclusive words and pictures below as he tells about his involvement with Bikes Over Baghdad in support of our troops overseas.

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    Sometimes traveling is war.  Delays, sleepless nights, waiting in lines, navigating an unfamiliar land, lost baggage, language barriers, the list goes on.  In the past two weeks I have flown over 14,000 miles and, as I sit in this hotel on a rainy day in London, I am counting down the hours until my flight home to Chicago tomorrow.  Just prior to this, I was in the Middle East on a tour called “Bikes Over Baghdad” whose main mission is to assemble BMX riders to go boost morale for the troops out fighting a real war.

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    The Middle East is an interesting place.  While there is a lot of turmoil, it’s always amazing to me how many calm, peaceful people you meet along the way.  Bringing BMX closer to the front lines of these conflicts is something we’ve been doing every year since 2009 and is something we enjoy doing.  The sacrifice we make by bringing ourselves into this seemingly dangerous situation is something we do on a daily basis riding BMX anyways so, in a way, it’s a logical combination since the troops over there have a similar mindset.

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    I think that mindset, however, is misunderstood.  BMXers, much like the vast majority of troops and Middle Eastern people we have met along the way, aren’t just blood thirsty adrenaline junkies.  We are just normal people who have the same desire for excitement and happiness as everyone else around the world.  Throughout these journeys and travels I have come to find that 99.9% of people are good.  People, in general, usually have the best intentions and are willing to help out.  This mindset can be seen in something as small as helping you pick up a quarter you dropped out of your pocket, or as big as helping another country get back on their feet after a hardship.  The majority of troops we have met fit this mold.  They are normal people from all different backgrounds who happen to do an abnormal job.  I’m fortunate to have seen this firsthand.

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    Even though I wish war didn’t exist, I am more than happy to join with my friends to make others smile, laugh and enjoy life.  Even if this moment of entertainment is a finite period of time, the feeling resonates for much longer.  The feeling of helping others is always just as rewarding as when others help you in times of need.  You don’t need to go to travel to the Middle East to achieve this (but if you have the chance to check out this or any foreign land, I would suggest it).  This can be achieved everyday at home.  Open a door for a stranger, help someone with their luggage, give someone a couple of your french fries at lunch, or just simply smile.  If we all did, then the world would be a better and more peaceful place. These small things will add up to big changes.

    - Brian Kachinsky

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    Follow Brian on twitter and instagram at @bkachinsky and facebook.

  • Billabong Pipeline Masters - When Dreams Become Reality

    Hawaiian Surfing Hexploration
    Upon my return from the two and a half week odyssey that embodied a videographer, surfer and entrepreneur's journey of self worth at surfing’s proving grounds I realized the significance of the events that had taken place. The road less traveled was upon me, a dream turned reality after that one wave, that one clip and that one event. I personally, had realized the childhood dream of charging Pipeline and my buddy was there to capture it. In reflection, how many people actually get to realize their dreams at the Super Bowl of surfing while history is made in the backdrop by one Gabriel Medina?


    #HEXplore Hawaii

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    Rad bridge in Haleiwa Hawaii

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    North Shore Bike Path

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    Nick Surfing An Epic Pipeline

    The Youngest Brazilian Surfing Champion
    With the door wide open after fellow Brazilian Alejo Muniz knocked out 42 year old contender Kelly Slater the smell of victory was in the air. One down, one to go... World Surf League number two, Mick Fanning of Australia was grinding it out for a hopeful fourth world title but it was crystal clear in the performance and the energy that this day was already written before anyone paddled out. The first Brazilian was destined to win the WSL World Tour of Surfing's greatest achievement, a WCT Championship and do so confidently at the world's deadliest wave. After dropping excellent scores on nearly every wave Gabriel had the title in his sights and nobody was going to stop him. It felt like I was at a soccer match as hundreds of Brazilian fans dawned flags, surfboards, towels, sarongs, bikinis and shirts screaming vai Medina! Moments before he clinched the world title a flog of fans charged the shoreline filling the sea with yellow and green as they made sure their champion’s feet wouldn’t touch the sand while they carried him up the beach in kingship fashion. Vai Medina!

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    Medina With His Trophy

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    North Shore Celebrations

    No Longer Dreaming
    "I've been dreaming of this moment my whole life and now I can stop dreaming, it's a reality!" the 20 year old prodigy said. On that day he matched Kelly Slater as the youngest surfer to ever win a WCT Championship. Lastly, that moment, the impending championship had increasing significance because it stoked the passion and fervor of the probable Brazilian Storm that will likely follow. Gabriel wore the weight of a country on his shoulders and it showed physically and presently in the water. Medina accomplished what no other Brazilian had before him, he became the best surfer in the world and now, he’s no longer dreaming about it.

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    Brasilian Flag

    Nick Mohnacky BioNicholas Mohnacky - HEX Ambassador
    Through a combination of great values, ability, creativity, networking and focus, Nicholas Mohnacky has amassed an impressive body of work while partnering or working with some of the world's largest technology and media companies like: Zynga, Yahoo, Tribune and Cox. Nicholas is a surfer, videographer and tech entrepreneur currently working on his startup Surfr App. Surfr is like Yelp for surfers, featuring 9,000 surf spots, restaurants and hostels around the world.
    @surfrapp on Instagram & Twitter

  • Ghost Writer: 12th Planet - Eight Years Of SMOG


    12th Planet is the electronic music pioneer who orbits on the forefront of global bass culture. Oh, and he also happens to be one of our good friends.  Named a “Los Angeles dubstep god” by Rolling Stone, 12th Planet, AKA John Dadzie, and his influential label SMOG Records are widely credited for bringing the British movement stateside, and continue to be a crucial force in the evolution of electronic music. 12th Planet’s DJ sets now include a myriad of styles that reflect the current, diverse landscape of EDM music and continue to display his role as an essential tastemaker in the dance music world.


    With these kind of credentials, how could we not have 12th pen a volume of our popular Ghost Writer series? Enjoy the exclusive images from our visit to his Los Angeles office and studio, and see what he has to say about music, anniversaries, and SMOG's new compilation, which just so happens to drop today.



    SMOG Recently hosted it's 8 year anniversary party in DTLA!! It's crazy to think about. We're so proud of what our roster has accomplished to date, we're stronger than ever and looking forward to a great year ahead! On January 13th we kick off our 9th year running with the 3rd volume of the SMOG City Compilation. These compilations are a great way for us to showcase the hottest new talent and trace the evolution of bass music. We're very excited about all of the artists that have contributed to it and we know you will be too!

    2th Planet With Danny United


    The compilation begins with a collaboration between myself and Tha Trickaz. "Bless That," and features one of my favorite emcee's, Armanni Reign. Following my collaboration are tracks by SPL, Dubloadz, Son Of Kick, Twine, Flinch, Jayceeoh & Woogie, Bleep Bloop, and another collab with Protohype and myself. Just like the current landscape of bass music, this compilation is diverse in style. It outlines some of the different kinds of bass music that, when compiled, reflect a common culture and aesthetic. It's a sign that this year will be a very big one for bass music and dance music in general.

    - 12th Planet




    SMOG City Vol.3
    1. 12th Planet & Tha Trickaz - Bless That ft Armanni Reign
    2. SPL - Confusion
    3. Dubloadz - Crunch Time
    4. HeroBust - Sheknowshebad "Grabbitz Remix"
    5. Son Of Kick - GitiT
    6. Twine - Killing Machine VIP
    7. Jayceeohh & Woogie - Drop it
    8. Flinch - Don't Give Up
    9. 12th Planet & Protohype - Bacon Psalm
    10. Bleep Bloop - Yep







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