Asap Rocky Attacked
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 Attacked
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.
Rocky would come to describe the relaunch of his Instagram as a’installation’, and it was the world was introduced to 2 of the core members of AWGE: Tan Camera and Robert Gallardo. Gallardo and Camera (real name Kimi Selfridge), were imputed as the masterminds behind the project, together with Gallardo taking the lead on creative direction and Selfridge as responsible for much of the installation’s photography and design work. The scope of AWGE hasn’t been limited to music. In 2016 rumors of a possible cooperation with fashion critic favorite J.W. Anderson were verified, with Rocky often seen sporting the collection’s standout piece, a faux fur teddy jacket. Similarly, the stand-out collaboration with GUESS of Rocky was conceptualized by 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 initiation of the clubhouse, itself a pop-up shop and installation motivated by a’90s treehouse, welcomed in presence a who’s who of the Los Angeles scene that was creative. With these two high-profile movies gaining wide-scale attention and countless perspectives, AWGE remained very much behind the scenes. Be music videos it clothing, or expansive events, one thing is for certain: AWGE has surprises in store. Rocky’s feed could be scrolled through as a visual experience, transcending Instagram’s conventionally squared format at the time when seen on any smartphone. In the middle of AWGEST, the AWGE enterprise unleashed what is perhaps the realization of their vision to date. Titled after Shane Gonzales’ punk-inspired label Midnight Studios, the Midnight Rave featured performances from international designer and DJ Virgil Abloh, as well as members of the A$AP Mob themselves. Set in an abandoned L.A. warehouse, the space was carefully curated using Midnight Rave branding as well as a moving L.E.D bar above the DJ booth. The photographer’s work is immediately recognizable for its media collage style, pop-culture references, and references to iconic brands like Goyard and Palace. During the A$ AP Mob networking platforms, Camera’s DIY aesthetic has become a staple since the relaunch.
While, in and of itself, this undertaking was an important moment for the artist’s aesthetic individuality, it’s perhaps noteworthy since the inaugural project of this AWGE collective, A$AP Rocky’s secret cabal of musicians, stylists, and founders. In this sense, it is a testament to the desire for secrecy of the collective that whilst always putting out high profile articles, AWGE has managed to continuously shroud itself. We reached out to a few members of the team, but got the same reply:”The first rule about AWGE is that you do not talk about AWGE.” Besides the night’s performances, fans who were were able to purchase a collaboration T-shirt by the brand Off-White, Midnight Studios of Abloh, and AWGE. Refusing to be confined by the limitations of art management that is one-dimensional, it is perhaps which we’ll see AWGE venture further .
In describing her involvement to Sophisticated , Selfridge says:”I made each collage by hand with various materials, including photographs shot on 35mm film and Polaroid film.” Though the day of the relaunch saw Rocky’s Instagram lose over 100,000 followers, this exceptional reimagining of his social media presence through daring, new visual aesthetics inspired many of the artist’s youthful followers to rethink their own Instagram profiles and ushered in a new era of iPhone curators. AWGE and fast forward two decades has stayed, by-and-large. He stayed quiet on its purpose, while notable A$ AP affiliate Ian Connor often shouted out the collective. Since their first job, the emblem of the collective has been seen in connection with nearly all of the Mob endeavors. The team’s profile has been raised in August, but 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 launch of the Cozy Tapes Vol. Two and the launching of a new AWGE site and merch line. Seen on A$AP Mob members in the run up to the website launch, the merch collection featured a choice, in addition to AWGE trucker hats in red, green or blue. What about the title itself — what the hell does AWGE mean? “No one should know what the letters stand for. We know what it is, and that is how we want to keep it.” Furthermore, in October of the same year, in the run up to the launch of Cozy Tapes Vol. 1, A$AP Rocky premiered the AWGE-directed short film “Money Man.” The movie, a partnership with Red Bull, was a modern reworking of the cult French movie La Haine, shot by frequent A$AP Mob collaborator, Dexter Navy, and featuring London grime artist Skepta. The brief film was AWGE bending an exercise in expression, its muscle. The site’s”About” section clearly lists the integral members of their AWGE team. In addition to Robert Gallardo and Ian Connor, contributors are listed next to their creative roles: Matt Henson — Fashion, Shane Gonzales — Design, Kamil Abbas — Creative, Hidjifilms — Video, Ben Baller — Jewellery, Hec Lunas Frans — Producers. It’s a who’s who of A$AP Mob affiliates.