Asap Rocky Balenciaga
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 Balenciaga
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 through this lens that the world was introduced to two of the core members of AWGE: Tan Camera and Robert Gallardo. Gallardo and Camera (real name Kimi Selfridge), were credited 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. The scope of AWGE hasn’t been limited to music, however. 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 coat. Likewise the stand-out collaboration with GUESS of Rocky was conceptualized from 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 installation and a shop welcomed in presence a who’s who of the Los Angeles creative scene. With these two high-profile movies gaining wide-scale attention and countless perspectives, AWGE remained very much behind the scenes. Be music videos, it clothes, or events that are expansive, one thing is for sure: AWGE has more surprises in store. In May 2015, A$AP Rocky relaunched his Instagram with a series of seamless, curated collages. Rocky’s feed could be scrolled through as a continuous experience, transcending Instagram’s conventionally squared arrangement at the time when seen on any smartphone. In the midst of AWGEST, the AWGE enterprise unleashed what is the realization of their creative vision to date, their Midnight Rave in Los Angeles. Titled after Shane Gonzales’ tag Midnight Studios, the Midnight Rave featured performances from global designer and DJ Virgil Abloh, along with members of the A$AP Mob. Set in an abandoned L.A. warehouse, the area was carefully curated with Midnight Rave branding as well as a moving L.E.D bar over the DJ booth. The photographer’s work is immediately recognizable for its media collage style references, and references that are off-the-cuff to iconic brands like Goyard and Palace. During the A$ AP Mob’s social 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 individuality, it’s perhaps notable since the inaugural project of the AWGE collective, the secret cabal of musicians, stylists, and creators of A$ AP Rocky. In this sense, it’s a testament to the collective’s desire for secrecy that even whilst consistently putting out content that is high profile, AWGE has managed to continuously shroud itself in mystery. We reached out to some members of the crew, but got the same answer:”The first rule about AWGE is you do not talk about AWGE.” In addition to the performances of the night, 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’s perhaps which we’ll see venture .
In describing her involvement to Sophisticated , Selfridge says:”I made each collage by hand with various 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 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. AWGE and fast forward two decades has remained, by-and-large, a mysterious thing to all those who have followed the A$AP Mob. While the collective was shouted out by AP affiliate Ian Connor, he stayed quiet. Since their first project, the emblem of the collective has been seen with almost all the Mob endeavors. The team’s profile has been raised in August, but when A$AP Rocky declared the aptly-titled AWGEST: a month-long takeover by AWGE and the A$AP Mob, which featured several album releases, culminating in the launch of the Cozy Tapes Vol. 2 and the launching of a new AWGE site and merch line. Seen on A$AP Mob members in the run up to the website launch, the merch collection featured a choice of AWGE, which sold out instantly, in addition to AWGE trucker hats in red, green or blue. 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 should know what the letters stand for. We know what it is, and that’s 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$AP Rocky premiered the AWGE-directed short film “Money Man.” The film, a partnership with Red Bull, was a contemporary reworking of the cult French movie La Haine, shot by regular A$AP Mob collaborator, Dexter Navy, also featuring London grime artist Skepta. The brief film was flexing its muscle, an exercise in cross-discipline expression. The new awgeshit.com site 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 the AWGE team. It.