Asap Rocky Ig
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 Ig
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’digital 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 (actual name Kimi Selfridge), were imputed as the masterminds behind the project, with Gallardo taking the lead on creative management and Selfridge as responsible for much of the installation’s photography and design work. AWGE’s scope 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 often seen sporting the collection’s standout piece, a faux fur teddy jacket. Likewise the AWGE team conceptualized the stand-out collaboration with GUESS of Rocky. The initiation of the clubhouse a pop-up store and installation motivated by a’90s treehouse, welcomed in presence a who’s who of the Los Angeles creative scene. Perhaps most importantly, 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 videos gaining wide-scale attention and millions of perspectives, AWGE remained very much behind the scenes. Be music videos it clothes, or grand events, one thing is for sure: AWGE has surprises in store. In May 2015, A$AP Rocky relaunched his Instagram with a series of seamless, curated collages. When seen on any smartphone, Rocky’s feed could be scrolled through as a continuous visual experience, surpassing the richly squared format of Instagram. In the midst of AWGEST, the AWGE enterprise unleashed what is possibly the most complete realization of their vision their Midnight Rave in Los Angeles, thus far. Titled after Shane Gonzales’ tag Midnight Studios, the Midnight Rave featured performances from members of the A$ AP Mob and DJ Virgil Abloh, as well as international designer. Set in an abandoned L.A. warehouse, the space was carefully curated with Midnight Rave branding as well as a moving L.E.D bar above the DJ booth. The photographer’s work is instantly recognizable for its media collage style, pop-culture references, and references to iconic brands like Goyard and Palace. Since the relaunch, Camera’s DIY aesthetic has become a staple during the A$AP Mob’s social networking platforms.
While, in and of itself, this undertaking was a significant time for the artist’s aesthetic identity, it is perhaps notable as the project of the AWGE collective, A$AP Rocky’s secret cabal of artists, stylists, and creators. In this sense, it is a testament to the collective’s desire for secrecy that whilst consistently putting out articles that is high profile, AWGE has managed to continuously shroud itself in mystery. We reached out to some members of the team, but got the same answer:”The first rule about AWGE is you do not talk about AWGE.” 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 management that is one-dimensional, it’s in this multi-disciplinary, box-less way which we’ll see venture in the future.
In describing her involvement to Complex, Selfridge says:”I made each collage by hand with many materials, including photographs shot on 35mm film and Polaroid film.” 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 inspired 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 years has remained, by-and-large. While AP affiliate Ian Connor shouted out the collective, he stayed quiet. Since their first job, the collective’s emblem has been spotted in connection with nearly all the Mob’s creative endeavors. The crew’s profile was 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 release of the Cozy Tapes Vol. 2 and the launching of a new AWGE website and merch line. Seen often on A$AP Mob members in the run up to the website launch, the merch collection featured a choice, as well as AWGE trucker hats in green, blue or red. What about the name itself — what the hell does AWGE mean? “No one should know what the letters stand for. We know what it is, and that’s how we want to keep it.” Moreover, in October of the same year, in the run up to the release of Cozy Tapes Vol. The movie, a partnership with Red Bull, was a modern reworking of the cult French film La Haine, shot by regular A$AP Mob collaborator, Dexter Navy, and featuring London grime artist Skepta. The short film AWGE flexed a workout in expression, its creative muscle. The site’s”About” section clearly lists the integral members of the AWGE team. It’s a who’s who of A$AP Mob affiliates.