Asap Rocky Genius
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 Genius
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.
Furthermore, in October of the same year, in the run up to the launch of Cozy Tapes Vol. The movie, a partnership with Red Bull, was a contemporary reworking of the cult French movie La Haine, shot by regular A$AP Mob collaborator, Dexter Navy, and featuring London grime artist Skepta. The film was AWGE flexing an exercise in expression, its creative muscle. It’s most noteworthy since the inaugural project of this AWGE collective, the secret cabal of artists, stylists, and creators of A$ AP Rocky while, in and of itself, this undertaking was an important time for the artist identity. Fast forward two years and AWGE has remained, by-and-large. He stayed quiet while noteworthy A$ AP affiliate Ian Connor often shouted out the collective. Since their first project, the collective’s emblem was seen in connection with nearly 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 till this point. The site’s”About” section clearly lists the integral members of their AWGE team. In addition to Robert Gallardo and Ian Connor, contributors are listed next to their creative roles: Matt Henson — Fashion, Shane Gonzales — Layout, Kamil Abbas — Creative, Hidjifilms — Video, Ben Baller — Jewellery, Hec Lunas Frans — Producers. It.
What about the name itself — what the hell does AWGE mean? “No one needs to know what the letters stand for. We all know what it is, and that’s how we want to keep it.” In May 2015, A$AP Rocky relaunched his Instagram with a collection of seamless, curated collages. When viewed on any smartphone, Rocky’s feed could be scrolled through transcending Instagram’s conventionally format at the moment. With these two high profile videos gaining wide-scale attention and millions of views, AWGE remained very much behind the scenes. Besides the performances of the night, fans who were early enough were able to purchase a limited collaboration T-shirt Midnight Studios, by Abloh’s brand Off-White, and AWGE. Refusing to be confined by the constraints of art direction that is one-dimensional, it is perhaps in this multi-disciplinary way that we will see venture in the future. The scope of AWGE has not been limited to music, however. In 2016 rumors of a potential cooperation with fashion critic favorite J.W. Anderson were verified, with Rocky frequently seen sporting the collection’s standout piece, a faux fur teddy jacket. Similarly, the AWGE team holistically conceptualized Rocky’s stand-out collaboration with GUESS. The initiation of the clubhouse, itself a pop-up shop and installation inspired by a’90s treehouse, welcomed in attendance a who’s who of the Los Angeles scene. Rocky would come to describe the relaunch of his Instagram as a’digital installation’, and it was the world was introduced to 2 of AWGE’s core members: Tan Camera and Robert Gallardo. Gallardo and Camera (real name Kimi Selfridge), were imputed as the masterminds behind the project, together with Gallardo taking the lead on creative management and Selfridge as responsible for much of the installation’s photography and design work.
Be it clothes, music videos, or grand events, one thing is for certain: AWGE has more surprises in store. The crew’s profile has been raised in August, however, when A$AP Rocky declared the aptly-titled AWGEST: a month-long takeover by AWGE and the A$AP Mob, which featured several record releases, culminating in the launch of the Cozy Tapes Vol. Two and the launch of a new AWGE website and merch line. Seen on A$AP Mob members in the run up to the site launch, the merch collection featured a selection of branded t-shirts, which sold out immediately, in addition to trucker hats in green, blue or red. In describing her participation to Complex, Selfridge says:”I made each collage by hand with various 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 unique 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 age of iPhone curators. The photographer’s work is immediately recognizable for its media collage style references, and references that are off-the-cuff to brands like Palace and Goyard. Since the relaunch, Camera’s DIY aesthetic has become a staple during the A$AP Mob media platforms. In this sense, it is a testament to the collective’s desire for secrecy that whilst always putting out articles, AWGE has managed to shroud itself. We reached out to a few members of the team, but got the same reply:”The first rule about AWGE is that you do not talk about AWGE.” In the middle of AWGEST, the AWGE enterprise unleashed what is the realization of the vision their Midnight Rave in Los Angeles, to date. Titled after Shane Gonzales’ label Midnight Studios, the Midnight Rave featured performances from DJ Virgil Abloh and international designer, along with members of the A$ 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 above the DJ booth.