Asap Rocky Birthday Card
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 Birthday Card
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 midst of AWGEST, the AWGE enterprise unleashed what is perhaps the most complete realization of their vision their Midnight Rave in Los Angeles, thus far. Titled after Shane Gonzales’ label Midnight Studios, the Midnight Rave featured performances from DJ Virgil Abloh and designer, 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. 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 views, AWGE remained very much behind the scenes. In describing her participation to Sophisticated , Selfridge says:”I made each collage by hand with various materials, including photographs shot on 35mm film and Polaroid film.” Be music videos it clothing, or events that are grand, one thing is for sure: AWGE has more surprises in store. Rocky would come to describe the relaunch of his Instagram as a’installation’, and it was the world was introduced into 2 of the core members of AWGE: 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 an important moment for the artist identity, it’s perhaps notable since the project of this AWGE collective, A$AP Rocky’s secret cabal of artists, stylists, and creators. Fast forward two decades and AWGE has remained, by-and-large, a mysterious entity to all those who have followed the A$AP Mob. He stayed quiet, while AP affiliate Ian Connor often shouted out the collective. Since their first project, the collective’s emblem has been spotted with nearly all of the Mob’s creative endeavors.
In May 2015, A$AP Rocky relaunched his Instagram using a collection of seamless, curated collages. Rocky’s feed could be scrolled through as a continuous experience, transcending Instagram’s conventionally squared format at the time when viewed on any smartphone. In this sense, it’s a testament to the desire for secrecy of the collective that even whilst always putting out content that is high profile, AWGE has managed to continuously shroud itself. We reached out to a few members of the crew, but got the same reply:”The first rule about AWGE is that you do not talk about AWGE.” Besides the performances of the night, fans who were early enough were able to purchase a collaboration T-shirt Midnight Studios, by Abloh’s brand Off-White, and AWGE. Refusing to be confined by the limitations of art direction that is one-dimensional, it is in this box-less manner which we will see venture . What about the name itself — what the hell does AWGE mean, anyway? “The first rule of AWGE is don’t ask questions about AWGE,” Rocky replied when asked by The New York Times. “No one needs to know what the letters stand for. We all know what it is, and that is how we want to keep it.” The crew’s profile has been raised in August, however, when A$AP Rocky announced the aptly-titled AWGEST: a month-long takeover by AWGE and the A$AP Mob, which featured several album releases, culminating in the launch of this Cozy Tapes Vol. Two and the launch of a new AWGE site and merch line. Seen on A$AP Mob members in the run up to the site launch, the merch collection featured AWGE trucker hats in green, blue or red, as well as a selection.
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 until this point. The site’s”About” section clearly lists the members of the AWGE team. In addition to Robert Gallardo and Ian Connor, contributors are listed alongside 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$AP Mob affiliates. The photographer’s work is immediately recognizable for its media collage style references, and references that are off-the-cuff to brands such as Goyard and Palace. During the A$ AP Mob media platforms, Camera’s DIY aesthetic has become a staple since the relaunch. The scope of AWGE hasn’t been limited to audio, 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 jacket. Likewise Rocky’s stand-out collaboration with GUESS was conceptualized from the AWGE team. The initiation of the clubhouseitself installation and a pop-up shop welcomed in presence a who’s who of the Los Angeles scene that was creative. Though the day of the relaunch watched Rocky’s Instagram shed 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. The film, a partnership with Red Bull, was a contemporary reworking of the cult French film La Haine, shot by regular A$AP Mob collaborator, Dexter Navy, and featuring London grime artist Skepta. The film was flexing a workout in cross-discipline expression, its muscle.