Asap Rocky Aesop Rock
I noticed the Rocky has been on the move in a major way with his recent imprint AWGE.
This step is noticeable and asking more of him as a creative within the most potent culture. Expressed directly and for a bigger purpose than pushing himself into the spotlight. Asap Rocky Aesop Rock
Rocky collaborates with Ian Connor, Playboi Carti, and Luke Sabbat to name a few.
Definitely, it feels like art for the sake of expression. They’ve found an aesthetic and pressed forward with it in a vein similar to the influences he’s cited regularly. Master P’s No Limit and Houston’s DJ Screw. This is the same but on a higher level, the opportunity to reach more viewers and thus influence taste has never been higher.
This is what happens when someone that understands aesthetic has the money and time to build creatively. It reminds me of all that went into making Kanye’s MBDTF one of his most celebrated and in-depth works. All facets led to the experience of the music being phenomenal. And although Rocky isn’t as respected as a musician, he definitely has all the tools to make impact and influence visually.
Let’s take a dive and understand what’s likely to happen and where the movement could take us next.
In the middle of AWGEST, the AWGE enterprise unleashed what is perhaps the most complete realization of their vision to date. Titled after Shane Gonzales’ punk-inspired label Midnight Studios, the Midnight Rave featured performances from members of the A$ AP Mob and DJ Virgil Abloh, as well as international designer. Set in an abandoned L.A. warehouse, the area was carefully curated with Midnight Rave branding as well as a moving L.E.D bar above the DJ booth. With these two high-profile videos gaining wide-scale attention and millions of perspectives, AWGE remained very much behind the scenes. In describing her involvement to Sophisticated , Selfridge says:”I made each collage by hand with various materials, including photographs shot on 35mm film and Polaroid film.” Be grand events, music videos, or it clothing, one thing is for sure: AWGE has more surprises in store. Rocky would come to describe the relaunch of his Instagram as a’digital installation’, and it was through this lens that the world was introduced into two of AWGE’s core members: Robert Gallardo and Tan Camera. Gallardo and Camera (real name Kimi Selfridge), were credited as the masterminds behind the project, with Gallardo taking the lead on creative direction and Selfridge as responsible for much of the installation’s photography and design work. It is most noteworthy since the project of this AWGE collective, the secret cabal of musicians, stylists, and founders of A$ AP Rocky while, in and of itself, this undertaking was a significant moment for the artist identity. AWGE and fast forward two years has remained, by-and-large, a mysterious thing to those who have followed the A$AP Mob. He remained quiet on its objective, while AP affiliate Ian Connor shouted out the collective. Since their first project, the emblem of the collective has been seen with nearly all of the Mob endeavors.
Rocky’s feed could be scrolled through as a continuous visual experience, transcending Instagram’s conventionally squared format at the time when viewed on any smartphone. In this sense, it’s a testament to the desire for secrecy of the collective that whilst consistently putting out high profile content, AWGE has managed to continuously shroud itself in mystery. We reached out to some members of the crew, but got the same reply:”The first rule about AWGE is that you do not talk about AWGE.” In addition to the night’s performances, fans who were early enough were able AWGE, and to purchase a collaboration T-shirt Midnight Studios, by Abloh’s brand Off-White. Refusing to be confined by the constraints of one-dimensional art management, it’s in this box-less manner which we’ll see venture . What about the name what the hell does AWGE mean, anyway? “No one needs to know what the letters stand for. We all know what it is, and that’s how we want to keep it.” The crew’s profile was raised in August, however, when A$AP Rocky declared the aptly-titled AWGEST: a month-long takeover by AWGE and the A$AP Mob, which featured several record releases, culminating in the release of the Cozy Tapes Vol. Two and the launching of a new AWGE website and merch line. Seen frequently on A$AP Mob members in the run up to the site launch, the merch collection featured trucker hats in red, green or blue, as well as a choice of AWGE, which sold out instantly.
The website’s”About” section clearly lists the members of their AWGE team. In addition to Robert Gallardo and Ian Connor, contributors are listed next to their creative roles: Matt Henson — Fashion, Shane Gonzales — Design, Kamil Abbas — Creative, Hidjifilms — Video, Ben Baller — Jewellery, Hec Lunas Frans — Producers. It. The photographer’s work is immediately recognizable for its media collage style references, and references to brands such as Goyard and Palace. Since the relaunch, Camera’s DIY aesthetic has become a staple during the A$AP Mob media platforms. The scope of AWGE hasn’t been limited to music. In 2016 rumors of a potential cooperation with fashion critic favorite J.W. Anderson were confirmed, with Rocky frequently seen sporting the collection’s standout piece, a faux fur teddy coat. Similarly, Rocky collaboration with GUESS was holistically conceptualized from the AWGE team. Buoyed by the success of their first collaborative collection, which sold out globally, and to coincide with the collaboration’s second iteration, AWGE presented the’A$AP Rocky x GUE$$ Clubhouse’. The launch of the clubhouse, itself a store and installation welcomed in presence a who’s who of the Los Angeles scene. Though the day of the relaunch watched Rocky’s Instagram lose over 100,000 followers, this unique reimagining of his social media presence through daring, new visual aesthetics motivated many of the artist’s youthful followers to rethink their own Instagram profiles and ushered in a new era of iPhone curators. Furthermore, in October of the same year, in the run up to the release of Cozy Tapes Vol. 1, A$AP Rocky premiered the AWGE-directed short film “Money Man.” The film, a partnership with Red Bull, was a modern reworking of the cult French film La Haine, shot by regular A$AP Mob collaborator, Dexter Navy, and featuring London grime artist Skepta. The brief film was AWGE flexing its muscle, an exercise in expression.