Asap Rocky And Iggy
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 And Iggy
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 the most complete realization of their creative vision their Midnight Rave in Los Angeles, thus far. Titled after Shane Gonzales’ tag Midnight Studios, the Midnight Rave featured performances from members of the A$ AP Mob themselves and DJ Virgil Abloh, along with designer. Set in an abandoned L.A. warehouse, the space was carefully curated with Midnight Rave branding as well as a moving L.E.D bar over the DJ booth. Perhaps most notably, AWGE branding has featured prominently on two of 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 millions of perspectives, AWGE remained very much behind the scenes. In describing her participation to Complex, Selfridge says:”I made each collage by hand with many materials, including photos shot on 35mm film and Polaroid film.” Be music videos it clothes, or events that are expansive, one thing is for sure: AWGE has surprises in store. Rocky would come to describe the relaunch of his Instagram as a’installation’, and it was that the world was introduced into two of AWGE’s core members: Robert Gallardo and Tan Camera. Gallardo and Camera (actual name Kimi Selfridge), were imputed 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. While, in and of itself, this undertaking was a significant time for the artist’s aesthetic individuality, it’s most noteworthy as the inaugural project of this AWGE collective, the secret cabal of artists, stylists, and founders of A$ AP Rocky. AWGE and fast forward two decades has stayed, by-and-large, a mysterious thing to all those who’ve followed the A$AP Mob. He stayed quiet on its objective while AP affiliate Ian Connor shouted out the collective. Since their first project, the logo of the collective has been seen with nearly all of the Mob endeavors.
In May 2015, A$AP Rocky relaunched his Instagram using a collection of seamless, curated collages. Rocky’s feed could be scrolled through as a visual experience, transcending Instagram’s conventionally squared format at the moment when seen on any smartphone. In this sense, it is a testament to the desire for secrecy of the collective that whilst always putting out high profile content, AWGE has managed to continuously 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.” Besides the night’s performances, fans who were early enough were able to purchase a limited collaboration T-shirt by the brand Off-White, Midnight Studios of Abloh, and AWGE. Refusing to be restricted by the constraints of art management that is one-dimensional, it is perhaps that we’ll see venture farther . What about the name itself — what the hell does AWGE mean, anyway? “The first rule of AWGE is do not ask questions about AWGE,” Rocky replied when asked by The New York Times. “No one needs to know what the letters stand for. We know what it is, and that is how we want to keep it.” The crew’s profile has been 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 multiple album releases, culminating in the launch of this Cozy Tapes Vol. 2 and the launch of a new AWGE website and merch line. Seen frequently on A$AP Mob members in the run up to the website launch, the merch collection featured a choice, as well as trucker hats in red, green or blue.
The website’s”About” section clearly lists the integral members of their AWGE team. In addition to Robert Gallardo and Ian Connor, contributors are listed next to their creative roles: Matt Henson — Fashion, Shane Gonzales — Design, Kamil Abbas — Creative, Hidjifilms — Video, Ben Baller — Jewellery, Hec Lunas Frans — Producers. It’s a who’s who of A$AP Mob affiliates. The photographer’s work is instantly recognizable for its media collage style, pop-culture references, and off-the-cuff references to brands like Palace and Goyard. Since the relaunch, the DIY aesthetic of Camera has become a staple during the A$ AP Mob networking platforms. The scope of AWGE hasn’t been limited to music, however. In 2016 rumors of a possible collaboration with fashion critic favorite J.W. Anderson were verified, with Rocky frequently seen sporting the collection’s standout piece, a faux fur teddy coat. Similarly, Rocky’s stand-out collaboration with GUESS was holistically conceptualized from the AWGE team. The initiation of the clubhouseitself installation and a shop motivated by a’90s treehouse, welcomed in presence a who’s who of the Los Angeles creative scene. Although the day of the relaunch watched Rocky’s Instagram lose over 100,000 followers, this exceptional reimagining of his social media presence through bold, new visual aesthetics inspired 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 release of Cozy Tapes Vol. 1, A$AP Rocky premiered the AWGE-directed short film “Money Man.” The movie, a partnership with Red Bull, was a contemporary reworking of the cult French film La Haine, shot by frequent A$AP Mob collaborator, Dexter Navy, and featuring London grime artist Skepta. The film was AWGE flexing its muscle, a workout in cross-discipline expression.