Asap Rocky Bad Company
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 Bad Company
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 movie, a partnership with Red Bull, was a modern reworking of the cult French movie La Haine, shot by regular A$AP Mob collaborator, Dexter Navy, and featuring London grime artist Skepta. The short film was flexing its muscle, a workout in expression. It’s perhaps noteworthy as the inaugural project of the AWGE collective, the secret cabal of artists, stylists, and founders of A$ AP Rocky while, in and of itself, this undertaking was an important moment for the artist identity. AWGE and fast forward two years has remained, by-and-large, a mysterious entity to those who’ve followed the A$AP Mob. He stayed quiet, while AP affiliate Ian Connor often shouted out the collective. Since their first project, the emblem of the collective has been spotted in connection with almost all of the Mob endeavors. The new awgeshit.com site gave fans their first look into the collective’s inner workings, removing the proverbial veil that had surrounded AWGE up until this point. The website’s”About” section clearly lists the integral members of their AWGE team. It.
What about the name itself — what the hell does AWGE mean? “No one should know what the letters stand for. We know what it is, and that’s how we want to keep it.” In May 2015, A$AP Rocky relaunched his Instagram with a collection of seamless, curated collages. Rocky’s feed could be scrolled through transcending Instagram’s conventionally squared format at the moment, when seen on any smartphone. With these two high-profile videos gaining wide-scale attention and millions of perspectives, AWGE remained very much behind the scenes. In addition to the performances of the night, fans who were early enough were able AWGE, and to buy a limited collaboration T-shirt Midnight Studios, by Abloh’s brand Off-White. Refusing to be confined by the limitations of art direction that is one-dimensional, it is in this box-less way that we will see venture further . The scope of AWGE hasn’t been limited to music. 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. Likewise the AWGE team conceptualized Rocky collaboration with GUESS. The initiation of the clubhouse a store and installation welcomed in attendance a who’s who of the Los Angeles scene. Rocky would come to describe the relaunch of his Instagram as a’installation’, and it was that the world was introduced to two 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, together with Gallardo taking the lead on creative management and Selfridge as responsible for much of the installation’s photography and design work.
Be music videos, it clothing, or events that are expansive, one thing is for certain: AWGE has more surprises in store. The team’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 multiple album releases, culminating in the launch of this Cozy Tapes Vol. Two and the launching of a new AWGE website and merch line. Seen on A$AP Mob members in the run up to the site launch, the merch collection featured trucker hats in blue, green or red, in addition to a choice of AWGE, which sold out almost immediately. In describing her involvement to Complex, Selfridge says:”I made each collage by hand with many materials, including photos shot on 35mm film and Polaroid film.” Although the day of the relaunch watched Rocky’s Instagram lose over 100,000 followers, this exceptional reimagining of his social media presence through daring, new visual aesthetics inspired many of the artist’s young followers to rethink their own Instagram profiles and ushered in a new era of iPhone curators. The photographer’s work is instantly recognizable for its media collage style, pop-culture references, and references to brands like Goyard and Palace. During the A$ 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 in mystery. We reached out to some members of the team, but got the same answer:”The first rule about AWGE is you do not talk about AWGE.” In the middle of AWGEST, the AWGE enterprise unleashed what is possibly the most complete realization of the vision their Midnight Rave in Los Angeles, thus far. Titled after Shane Gonzales’ punk-inspired label Midnight Studios, the Midnight Rave featured performances from global designer and DJ Virgil Abloh, as well as members of the A$AP Mob. 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 above the DJ booth.