Asap Rocky Testing 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 Testing 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.
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, also featuring London grime artist Skepta. The film AWGE flexed an exercise in cross-discipline expression, its muscle. It’s perhaps most notable since the project of this AWGE collective, the secret cabal of artists, stylists, and founders of A$ AP Rocky while, in and of itself, this undertaking was a significant time for the artist’s aesthetic identity. Fast forward two years and AWGE has stayed, by-and-large, a mysterious thing to those who have followed the A$AP Mob. While the collective was often shouted out by noteworthy A$ AP affiliate Ian Connor, he remained quiet on its objective. Since their first project, the logo of the collective has been spotted in connection with nearly all of the Mob endeavors. The website’s”About” section clearly lists the 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 — Design, Kamil Abbas — Creative, Hidjifilms — Video, Ben Baller — Jewellery, Hec Lunas Frans — Producers. It.
What about the title what the hell does AWGE mean, anyway? “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.” In May 2015, A$AP Rocky relaunched his Instagram with a collection of seamless, curated collages. When viewed on any smartphone, Rocky’s feed could be scrolled through transcending the conventionally squared arrangement of Instagram. With these two high-profile movies gaining wide-scale attention and countless views, AWGE remained very much behind the scenes. Besides the performances of the night, fans who were were able to purchase a limited collaboration T-shirt by Abloh’s brand Off-White, Midnight Studios, and AWGE. Refusing to be restricted by the limitations of art management that is one-dimensional, it’s perhaps that we will see AWGE venture farther . AWGE’s scope hasn’t been restricted to music. In 2016 rumors of a potential collaboration with fashion critic favorite J.W. Anderson were verified, with Rocky often seen sporting the collection’s standout piece, a faux fur teddy jacket. Likewise the AWGE team conceptualized Rocky’s stand-out collaboration with GUESS. The initiation of the clubhouse a shop and installation motivated by a’90s treehouse, welcomed in attendance a who’s who of the Los Angeles scene. Rocky would come to describe the relaunch of his Instagram as a’digital installation’, and it was through this lens that the world was introduced to two of AWGE’s core members: Tan Camera and Robert Gallardo. Gallardo and Camera (actual name Kimi Selfridge), were credited as the masterminds behind the project, together with Gallardo taking the lead on creative direction and Selfridge as responsible for much of the installation’s photography and design work.
Be music videos, it clothes, or events that are grand, one thing is for certain: AWGE has more surprises in store. The crew’s profile has been raised in August, but when A$AP Rocky declared the aptly-titled AWGEST: a month-long takeover by AWGE and the A$AP Mob, which featured several record releases, culminating in the release of this Cozy Tapes Vol. 2 and the launch of a new AWGE site and merch line. Seen on A$AP Mob members in the run up to the site launch, the merch collection featured trucker hats in red, green or blue, as well as a selection of AWGE, which sold out almost immediately. In describing her participation to Sophisticated , 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 saw Rocky’s Instagram lose over 100,000 followers, this unique 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 age of iPhone curators. The photographer’s work is instantly recognizable for its media collage style references, and references that are off-the-cuff to brands like Goyard and Palace. Since the relaunch, the DIY aesthetic of Camera has become a staple during the A$ AP Mob’s social media platforms. In this sense, it’s a testament to the desire for secrecy of the collective that whilst consistently putting out articles, AWGE has managed to shroud itself. We reached out to a few members of the crew, but got the same reply:”The first rule about AWGE is you do not talk about AWGE.” In the middle of AWGEST, the AWGE enterprise unleashed what is possibly the realization of the creative vision to date, their Midnight Rave in Los Angeles. Titled after Shane Gonzales’ punk-inspired label Midnight Studios, the Midnight Rave featured performances from DJ Virgil Abloh and global designer, as well as members of the A$ AP Mob themselves. Set in an abandoned L.A. warehouse, the area was carefully curated using Midnight Rave branding in addition to a moving L.E.D bar over the DJ booth.