Asap Rocky Datpiff
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 Datpiff
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 frequent A$AP Mob collaborator, Dexter Navy, also featuring London grime artist Skepta. The film was AWGE flexing its muscle, an exercise in cross-discipline expression. While, in and of itself, this undertaking was an important time for the artist individuality, it is perhaps most notable since the project of the AWGE collective, the secret cabal of musicians, stylists, and founders of A$ AP Rocky. Fast forward two decades and AWGE has stayed, by-and-large. While the collective was often shouted out by noteworthy A$ AP affiliate Ian Connor, he remained quiet on its objective. Since their first project, the logo of the collective was spotted with nearly all of the Mob’s creative endeavors. The site’s”About” section clearly lists the members of the AWGE team. It is a who’s who of A$AP Mob affiliates.
What about the name itself — what the hell does AWGE mean, anyway? “No one should know what the letters stand for. We all know what it is, and that is how we want to keep it.” In May 2015, A$AP Rocky relaunched his Instagram using a collection of seamless, curated collages. Rocky’s feed could be scrolled through as a visual experience, 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 countless views, AWGE remained very much behind the scenes. Besides the night’s performances, fans who were early enough were able to purchase a limited collaboration T-shirt by Abloh’s brand Off-White, Midnight Studios, and AWGE. Refusing to be confined by the limitations of art management, it is perhaps in this multi-disciplinary, box-less manner which we will see AWGE venture in the future. The scope of AWGE hasn’t been restricted to music, however. In 2016 rumors of a possible collaboration with fashion critic favorite J.W. Anderson were confirmed, with Rocky frequently seen sporting the collection’s standout piece, a faux fur teddy coat. Similarly, Rocky collaboration with GUESS was conceptualized from the AWGE team. The initiation of the clubhouseitself installation and a store motivated by a’90s treehouse, welcomed in presence a who’s who of the Los Angeles creative scene. 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: Robert Gallardo and Tan Camera. 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.
Be events, music videos, or it clothing, one thing is for sure: AWGE has more surprises in store. The team’s profile was 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 this Cozy Tapes Vol. 2 and the launch of a new AWGE website and merch line. Seen often on A$AP Mob members in the run up to the website launch, the merch collection featured a choice of AWGE, which sold out almost instantly, as well as AWGE trucker hats in green, blue or red. In describing her involvement to Sophisticated , Selfridge says:”I made each collage by hand with various materials, including photographs shot on 35mm film and Polaroid film.” Though the day of the relaunch saw Rocky’s Instagram lose over 100,000 followers, this exceptional reimagining of his social media presence through daring, new visual aesthetics inspired many of the artist’s youthful followers to rethink their own Instagram profiles and ushered in a new era of iPhone curators. The photographer’s work is immediately recognizable for its media collage style, pop-culture references, and off-the-cuff references to iconic brands such as Palace and Goyard. Throughout the A$ AP Mob networking platforms, the DIY aesthetic of Camera has become a staple since the relaunch. 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 you don’t talk about AWGE.” In the midst of AWGEST, the AWGE enterprise unleashed what is the realization of the vision to date, their Midnight Rave in Los Angeles. Titled after Shane Gonzales’ punk-inspired label Midnight Studios, the Midnight Rave featured performances from designer and DJ Virgil Abloh, along with members of the A$AP Mob. 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 over the DJ booth.