Asap Rocky Poster
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 Poster
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 that the world was introduced to two of AWGE’s core members: Robert Gallardo and Tan Camera. 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. AWGE’s scope has not been limited to audio, 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, the AWGE team holistically conceptualized Rocky’s stand-out collaboration with GUESS. The initiation of the clubhouse a store and installation welcomed in attendance a who’s who of the Los Angeles creative scene. Perhaps most notably, AWGE branding has featured prominently on two of the Mob’s most recent music videos; those for Playboi Carti’s breakout hit “Magnolia” and the posse cut homage to Raf Simons, “RAF.” With these two high-profile movies gaining wide-scale attention and millions of views, AWGE remained very much behind the scenes. Be it clothing, music videos, or events, one thing is for certain: AWGE has surprises in store. When seen on any smartphone, Rocky’s feed could be scrolled through as a constant visual experience, transcending Instagram’s conventionally squared arrangement at the time. In the middle of AWGEST, the AWGE enterprise unleashed what is possibly the most complete realization of their creative vision to date. Titled after Shane Gonzales’ tag Midnight Studios, the Midnight Rave featured performances from members of the A$ AP Mob themselves and DJ Virgil Abloh, as well as designer. Set in an abandoned L.A. warehouse, the space was carefully curated using Midnight Rave branding in addition to a moving L.E.D bar above the DJ booth. The photographer’s work is instantly recognizable for its media collage style references, and off-the-cuff references to brands such as Goyard and Palace. Since the relaunch, Camera’s DIY aesthetic has become a staple throughout the A$AP Mob media platforms.
While, in and of itself, this undertaking was an important moment for the artist identity, it is perhaps most notable since the project of the AWGE collective, the secret cabal of musicians, stylists, and founders of A$ AP Rocky. In this sense, it’s a testament to the collective’s desire for secrecy that even whilst always putting out content, AWGE has managed to shroud itself. We reached out to some members of the team, but got the same reply:”The first rule about AWGE is that you don’t talk about AWGE.” In addition to the performances of the night, fans who were early enough were able AWGE, and to purchase a limited collaboration T-shirt by Abloh’s brand Off-White, Midnight Studios. Refusing to be restricted by the constraints of art management that is one-dimensional, it is in this multi-disciplinary, box-less manner that we will see venture further in the future.
In describing her involvement to Complex, Selfridge says:”I made each collage by hand with various materials, including photographs shot on 35mm film and Polaroid film.” Although the day of the relaunch watched 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 young 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. He stayed quiet on its purpose, while notable A$ AP affiliate Ian Connor shouted out the collective. Since their first project, the collective’s emblem has been spotted in connection with nearly all the Mob endeavors. The team’s profile has been 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 multiple record releases, culminating in the release of the Cozy Tapes Vol. 2 and the launch of a new AWGE site and merch line. Seen on A$AP Mob members in the run up to the website launch, the merch collection featured trucker hats in red, green or blue, as well as a choice of AWGE, which sold out almost instantly. What about the title itself — what the hell does AWGE mean? “No one should know what the letters stand for. We all know what it is, and that’s how we want to keep it.” Moreover, in October of the same year, in the run up to the launch of Cozy Tapes Vol. 1, A$AP Rocky premiered the AWGE-directed short film “Money Man.” The movie, a partnership with Red Bull, was a contemporary reworking of the cult French film La Haine, shot by regular A$AP Mob collaborator, Dexter Navy, also featuring London grime artist Skepta. The brief film was AWGE bending a workout in cross-discipline expression, its muscle. The website’s”About” section clearly lists the members of their AWGE team. It.