Asap Rocky Calvin Klein
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 Calvin Klein
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 film, a partnership with Red Bull, was a modern reworking of the cult French movie La Haine, shot by regular A$AP Mob collaborator, Dexter Navy, also featuring London grime artist Skepta. The brief film AWGE flexed a workout in cross-discipline expression, its muscle. While, in and of itself, this undertaking was a significant time for the artist’s aesthetic identity, it’s most noteworthy since the project of this AWGE collective, A$AP Rocky’s secret cabal of musicians, stylists, and founders. AWGE and fast forward two decades has remained, by-and-large, a mysterious thing to all those who have followed the A$AP Mob. He remained quiet on its purpose while noteworthy A$ AP affiliate Ian Connor often shouted out the collective. Since their first project, the logo of the collective has been seen in connection with almost all the Mob’s creative 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 till this point. The site’s”About” section clearly lists the members of the AWGE team. It is a who’s who of A$AP Mob affiliates.
What about the title itself — what the hell does AWGE mean, anyhow? “No one should know what the letters stand for. We know what it is, and that is how we want to keep it.” When viewed on any smartphone, Rocky’s feed could be scrolled through transcending Instagram’s squared arrangement at the moment. With these two high-profile videos gaining wide-scale attention and countless perspectives, AWGE remained very much behind the scenes. Besides the performances of the night, fans who were were able to purchase a limited collaboration T-shirt by the brand Off-White, Midnight Studios of Abloh, and AWGE. Refusing to be confined by the constraints of art management, it is in this multi-disciplinary, box-less way which we will see AWGE venture in the future. AWGE’s scope has not been limited to audio. In 2016 rumors of a possible collaboration with fashion critic favorite J.W. Anderson were verified, with Rocky frequently seen sporting the collection’s standout piece, a faux fur teddy jacket. Similarly, the AWGE team holistically conceptualized the stand-out collaboration with GUESS of Rocky. Buoyed by the success of their first collaborative collection, which sold out worldwide, and to coincide with the collaboration’s second iteration, AWGE presented the’A$AP Rocky x GUE$$ Clubhouse’. The launch of the clubhouse, itself a pop-up store and installation motivated by a’90s treehouse, welcomed in attendance a who’s who of the Los Angeles scene. Rocky would come to describe the relaunch of his Instagram as a’digital installation’, and it was through this lens that the world was introduced to 2 of the core members of AWGE: Robert Gallardo and Tan Camera.
Be music videos it clothing, or events, one thing is for sure: AWGE has surprises in store. The team’s profile has been 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 release of the Cozy Tapes Vol. 2 and the launch of a new AWGE website and merch line. Seen often on A$AP Mob members in the run up to the website launch, the merch collection featured AWGE trucker hats in green, blue or red, in addition to a choice of AWGE, which sold out almost immediately. In describing her involvement to Complex, Selfridge says:”I made each collage by hand with many materials, including photos shot on 35mm film and Polaroid film.” Though the day of the relaunch watched Rocky’s Instagram lose over 100,000 followers, this exceptional reimagining of his social media presence through bold, new visual aesthetics motivated many of the artist’s young followers to rethink their own Instagram profiles and ushered in a new age of iPhone curators. The photographer’s work is immediately recognizable for its mixed media collage style references, and off-the-cuff references to iconic brands such as Palace and Goyard. During the A$ AP Mob networking platforms, Camera’s DIY aesthetic has become a staple since the relaunch. In this sense, it is a testament to the desire for secrecy of the collective that whilst consistently putting out high profile content, AWGE has managed to continuously shroud itself. 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 the midst of AWGEST, the AWGE enterprise unleashed what is possibly the realization of their vision to date, their Midnight Rave in Los Angeles. Titled after Shane Gonzales’ tag Midnight Studios, the Midnight Rave featured performances from DJ Virgil Abloh and international designer, as well as members of the A$ AP Mob themselves. Set in an abandoned L.A. warehouse, the area was carefully curated using Midnight Rave branding as well as a moving L.E.D bar over the DJ booth.