Asap Rocky Amazon
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 Amazon
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 the creative vision to date, their Midnight Rave in Los Angeles. Titled after Shane Gonzales’ 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 using Midnight Rave branding in addition to a moving L.E.D bar above the DJ booth. With these two high-profile movies gaining wide-scale attention and countless views, AWGE remained very much behind the scenes. In describing her involvement to Complex, Selfridge says:”I made each collage by hand with various materials, including photos shot on 35mm film and Polaroid film.” Be it clothes, music videos, or expansive events, 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 that the world was introduced to 2 of the core members of AWGE: Tan Camera and Robert Gallardo. Gallardo and Camera (actual name Kimi Selfridge), were credited as the masterminds behind the project, together with Gallardo taking the lead on creative management and Selfridge as responsible for much of the installation’s photography and design work. It’s perhaps notable since the inaugural 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 an important time for the artist individuality. Fast forward two decades and AWGE has stayed, by-and-large, a mysterious entity to those who have followed the A$AP Mob. While AP affiliate Ian Connor often shouted out the collective, he remained quiet on its purpose. Since their first job, the emblem of the collective was seen with almost all of the Mob’s creative endeavors.
Rocky’s feed could be scrolled through as a visual experience, transcending Instagram’s squared format at the moment, when viewed on any smartphone. In this sense, it’s a testament to the collective’s desire for secrecy that whilst consistently putting out high profile articles, AWGE has managed to continuously shroud itself in mystery. We reached out to some members of the crew, but got the same reply:”The first rule about AWGE is that you don’t talk about AWGE.” Besides the night’s performances, fans who were early enough were able to purchase a collaboration T-shirt by Abloh’s brand Off-White, Midnight Studios, and AWGE. Refusing to be restricted by the limitations of art direction that is one-dimensional, it’s in this multi-disciplinary, box-less manner that we’ll see venture . What about the title what the hell does AWGE mean, anyway? “No one should know what the letters stand for. We all know what it is, and that’s how we want to keep it.” The team’s profile was raised in August, however, when A$AP Rocky announced the aptly-titled AWGEST: a month-long takeover by AWGE and the A$AP Mob, which featured several album releases, culminating in the launch of the Cozy Tapes Vol. Two and the launch of a new AWGE site and merch line. Seen on A$AP Mob members in the run up to the site launch, the merch collection featured a selection, as well as AWGE trucker hats in green, blue or red.
The new awgeshit.com website gave fans their first look into the collective’s inner workings, removing the proverbial veil that had surrounded AWGE up until this point. The website’s”About” section clearly lists the integral members of the AWGE team. Besides Robert Gallardo and Ian Connor, contributors are listed next to their creative roles: Matt Henson — Fashion, Shane Gonzales — Layout, Kamil Abbas — Creative, Hidjifilms — Video, Ben Baller — Jewellery, Hec Lunas Frans — Producers. It’s a who’s who of A$AP Mob affiliates. The photographer’s work is instantly recognizable for its mixed media collage style references, and references that are off-the-cuff to brands such as Goyard and Palace. Since the relaunch, Camera’s DIY aesthetic has become a staple during the A$AP Mob media platforms. AWGE’s scope has not been restricted to audio. 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 jacket. Similarly, the AWGE team holistically conceptualized Rocky’s stand-out collaboration with GUESS. 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 initiation of the clubhouse installation and a pop-up shop inspired by a’90s treehouse, welcomed in presence a who’s who of the Los Angeles scene that was creative. Although the day of the relaunch saw Rocky’s Instagram shed over 100,000 followers, this unique reimagining of his social media presence through bold, new visual aesthetics motivated many of the artist’s young 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 launch of Cozy Tapes Vol. The film, a partnership with Red Bull, was a modern reworking of the cult French film La Haine, shot by frequent A$AP Mob collaborator, Dexter Navy, also featuring London grime artist Skepta. The brief film was bending an exercise in cross-discipline expression, its muscle.