Asap Rocky Age
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 Age
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.
The film, a partnership with Red Bull, was a modern reworking of the cult French movie La Haine, shot by regular A$AP Mob collaborator, Dexter Navy, and featuring London grime artist Skepta. The film AWGE flexed its muscle, an exercise in cross-discipline expression. It is most notable as the project of the AWGE collective, the secret cabal of artists, stylists, and creators of A$ AP Rocky while, in and of itself, this undertaking was an important moment for the artist identity. Fast forward two decades and AWGE has stayed, by-and-large. While AP affiliate Ian Connor shouted out the collective, he remained quiet. Since their first project, the emblem of the collective has been seen in connection with almost all the Mob’s creative endeavors. The new awgeshit.com website gave fans their first look into the collective’s inner workings, removing the proverbial veil which had surrounded AWGE up till this point. The site’s”About” section clearly lists the members of their AWGE team. In addition to Robert Gallardo and Ian Connor, contributors are listed alongside their creative roles: Matt Henson — Fashion, Shane Gonzales — Design, Kamil Abbas — Creative, Hidjifilms — Video, Ben Baller — Jewellery, Hec Lunas Frans — Producers. It.
What about the name itself — what the hell does AWGE mean? “No one needs to know what the letters stand for. We all know what it is, and that is how we want to keep it.” In May 2015, A$AP Rocky relaunched his Instagram using a collection of seamless, curated collages. When viewed on any smartphone, Rocky’s feed could be scrolled through as a visual experience, transcending the conventionally squared format of Instagram. Perhaps most importantly, AWGE branding has featured prominently on among the Mob’s latest music videos; those for Playboi Carti’s breakout hit “Magnolia” and the posse cut homage to Raf Simons, “RAF.” With these two high profile movies gaining wide-scale attention and countless perspectives, AWGE remained very much behind the scenes. Besides the performances of the night, fans who were were able to buy a collaboration T-shirt by Abloh’s brand Off-White and AWGE. Refusing to be confined by the constraints of one-dimensional art direction, it’s perhaps which we’ll see AWGE venture farther in the future. The scope of AWGE has not been restricted to music. In 2016 rumors of a potential collaboration with fashion critic favorite J.W. Anderson were confirmed, with Rocky often seen sporting the collection’s standout piece, a faux fur teddy coat. Likewise the AWGE team holistically conceptualized the stand-out collaboration with GUESS of Rocky. The launch of the clubhouseitself installation and a pop-up shop welcomed in attendance a who’s who of the Los Angeles creative scene. Rocky would come to describe the relaunch of his Instagram as a’digital installation’, and it was through this lens that the world was introduced into 2 of the core members of AWGE: Robert Gallardo and Tan Camera. Gallardo and Camera (real name Kimi Selfridge), were credited as the masterminds behind the project, with Gallardo taking the lead on creative management and Selfridge as responsible for much of the installation’s photography and design work.
Be events, music videos, or it clothes, one thing is for sure: AWGE has surprises in store. The team’s profile has been raised in August, but when A$AP Rocky announced the aptly-titled AWGEST: a month-long takeover by AWGE and the A$AP Mob, which featured multiple record releases, culminating in the launch of the Cozy Tapes Vol. 2 and the launch of a new AWGE site and merch line. Seen on A$AP Mob members in the run up to the site launch, the merch collection featured AWGE trucker hats in blue, green or red, as well as a choice of AWGE, which sold out almost immediately. In describing her participation to Sophisticated , Selfridge says:”I made each collage by hand with various materials, including photos shot on 35mm film and Polaroid film.” Though the day of the relaunch saw Rocky’s Instagram lose over 100,000 followers, this unique reimagining of his social media presence through bold, 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. The photographer’s work is immediately recognizable for its media collage style, pop-culture references, and references to brands like Palace and Goyard. During the A$ AP Mob’s social media platforms, the DIY aesthetic of Camera has become a staple since the relaunch. In this sense, it is a testament to the collective’s desire for secrecy that whilst always putting out articles, AWGE has managed to shroud itself. We reached out to a few members of the team, but got the same reply:”The first rule about AWGE is you do not talk about AWGE.” In the midst of AWGEST, the AWGE enterprise unleashed what is the most complete realization of their vision their Midnight Rave in Los Angeles, thus far. Titled after Shane Gonzales’ punk-inspired label Midnight Studios, the Midnight Rave featured performances from designer and DJ Virgil Abloh, as well as members of the A$AP Mob themselves. Set in an abandoned L.A. warehouse, the space was carefully curated with Midnight Rave branding in addition to a moving L.E.D bar above the DJ booth.