Asap Rocky L$D
I noticed the Rocky has been on the move in a major way with his recent imprint AWGE.
This step is noticeable and asking more of him as a creative within the most potent culture. Expressed directly and for a bigger purpose than pushing himself into the spotlight. Asap Rocky L$D
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 AWGE’s core members: 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 has not been limited to music. 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 jacket. Likewise Rocky collaboration with GUESS was conceptualized by the AWGE team. The initiation of the clubhouse installation and a pop-up shop welcomed in presence a who’s who of the Los Angeles scene that was creative. With these two high-profile movies gaining wide-scale attention and millions of views, AWGE remained very much behind the scenes. Be music videos it clothing, or events that are grand, one thing is for sure: AWGE has more surprises in store. In May 2015, A$AP Rocky relaunched his Instagram with a collection of seamless, curated collages. Rocky’s feed could be scrolled through transcending Instagram’s conventionally format at the moment when viewed on any smartphone. In the middle of AWGEST, the AWGE enterprise unleashed what is possibly the most complete realization of their vision to date, their Midnight Rave in Los Angeles. Titled after Shane Gonzales’ label Midnight Studios, the Midnight Rave featured performances from designer and DJ Virgil Abloh, along with members of the A$AP Mob themselves. 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 over the DJ booth. The photographer’s work is instantly recognizable for its media collage style references, and off-the-cuff references to iconic brands like Palace and Goyard. Throughout the A$ AP Mob networking platforms, the DIY aesthetic of Camera has become a staple since the relaunch.
While, in and of itself, this undertaking was an important time for the artist’s aesthetic identity, it’s perhaps noteworthy since the project of the AWGE collective, A$AP Rocky cabal of musicians, stylists, and creators. In this sense, it is a testament to the desire for secrecy of the collective that whilst consistently putting out articles that is high-profile, AWGE has managed to shroud itself. We reached out to some members of the team, but got the same answer:”The first rule about AWGE is that you do not talk about AWGE.” In addition to the performances of the night, fans who were early enough were able AWGE, and to buy a limited collaboration T-shirt by Abloh’s brand Off-White, Midnight Studios. Refusing to be confined by the limitations of art direction that is one-dimensional, it’s in this box-less way which we will see venture farther in the future.
In describing her involvement to Sophisticated , Selfridge says:”I made each collage by hand with various materials, including photos shot on 35mm film and Polaroid film.” Although the day of the relaunch saw Rocky’s Instagram lose over 100,000 followers, this unique reimagining of his social media presence through daring, new visual aesthetics motivated many of the artist’s young followers to rethink their own Instagram profiles and ushered in a new era of iPhone curators. Fast forward two decades and AWGE has stayed, by-and-large. While noteworthy A$AP affiliate Ian Connor shouted out the collective, he stayed quiet. Since their first job, the logo of the collective has been seen in connection with nearly all the Mob’s creative endeavors. 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 record releases, culminating in the launch of the Cozy Tapes Vol. Two and the launch of a new AWGE site and merch line. Seen on A$AP Mob members in the run up to the website launch, the merch collection featured AWGE trucker hats in blue, red or green, in addition to a selection of AWGE branded t-shirts, which sold out instantly. What about the name what the hell does AWGE mean? “The first rule of AWGE is do not ask questions about AWGE,” Rocky replied when asked by The New York Times. “No one needs to know what the letters stand for. We all know what it is, and that is how we want to keep it.” Furthermore, in October of the same year, in the run up to the launch of Cozy Tapes Vol. 1, A$AP Rocky premiered the AWGE-directed short film “Money Man.” The film, a partnership with Red Bull, was a modern reworking of the cult French film La Haine, shot by frequent A$AP Mob collaborator, Dexter Navy, and featuring London grime artist Skepta. The film was bending a workout in cross-discipline expression, its creative muscle. The website’s”About” section clearly lists the members of the AWGE team. Besides Robert Gallardo and Ian Connor, contributors are listed alongside their creative roles: Matt Henson — Fashion, Shane Gonzales — Layout, Kamil Abbas — Creative, Hidjifilms — Video, Ben Baller — Jewellery, Hec Lunas Frans — Producers. It.