Asap Rocky Testing
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
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.
In the middle of AWGEST, the AWGE enterprise unleashed what is the most complete realization of their vision to date. Titled after Shane Gonzales’ punk-inspired tag Midnight Studios, the Midnight Rave featured performances from designer and DJ Virgil Abloh, along with members of the A$AP Mob. Set in an abandoned L.A. warehouse, the area was carefully curated with Midnight Rave branding in addition to a moving L.E.D bar above the DJ booth. With these two high-profile videos gaining wide-scale attention and millions of perspectives, AWGE remained very much behind the scenes. In describing her participation to Complex, Selfridge says:”I made each collage by hand with many materials, including photos shot on 35mm film and Polaroid film.” Be expansive events, music videos, or it clothing, one thing is for certain: AWGE has more surprises in store. Rocky would come to describe the relaunch of his Instagram as a’installation’, and it was through this lens that the world was introduced into two of the core members of AWGE: Robert Gallardo and Tan Camera. It’s perhaps notable since the project of this AWGE collective, the secret cabal of artists, stylists, and creators of A$ AP Rocky while, in and of itself, this undertaking was an important moment for the artist individuality. Fast forward two decades and AWGE has remained, by-and-large, a mysterious entity to those who have followed the A$AP Mob. While the collective was often shouted out by noteworthy A$ AP affiliate Ian Connor, he stayed quiet. Since their first project, the logo of the collective was seen with almost all the Mob’s creative endeavors.
Rocky’s feed could be scrolled through as a visual experience, transcending Instagram’s conventionally arrangement at the time, when viewed on any smartphone. In this sense, it’s a testament to the desire for secrecy of the collective that whilst always putting out content that is high profile, 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 you don’t talk about AWGE.” Besides the night’s performances, fans who were early enough were able AWGE, and to purchase a collaboration T-shirt Midnight Studios, by Abloh’s brand Off-White. Refusing to be restricted by the constraints of art management, it’s perhaps which we will see AWGE venture . What about the name itself — what the hell does AWGE mean, anyway? “No one should know what the letters stand for. We know what it is, and that is how we want to keep it.” The crew’s profile was 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 release of the Cozy Tapes Vol. Two and the launching of a new AWGE website and merch line. Seen on A$AP Mob members in the run up to the website launch, the merch collection featured a choice, in addition to AWGE trucker hats in red, green or blue.
The site’s”About” section clearly lists the integral members of their AWGE team. In addition to Robert Gallardo and Ian Connor, contributors are listed alongside their creative roles: Matt Henson — Fashion, Shane Gonzales — Design, Kamil Abbas — Creative, Hidjifilms — Video, Ben Baller — Jewellery, Hec Lunas Frans — Producers. It’s a who’s who of A$AP Mob affiliates. The photographer’s work is immediately recognizable for its media collage style, pop-culture references, and off-the-cuff references to brands like Palace and Goyard. Throughout the A$ AP Mob networking platforms, Camera’s DIY aesthetic has become a staple since the relaunch. The scope of AWGE hasn’t been limited to music. In 2016 rumors of a potential 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, Rocky collaboration with GUESS was holistically conceptualized from the AWGE team. Buoyed by the success of their first collaborative collection, which sold out worldwide, and to coincide with the collaboration’s second iteration, AWGE introduced the’A$AP Rocky x GUE$$ Clubhouse’. The initiation of the clubhouseitself installation and a store motivated by a’90s treehouse, welcomed in presence a who’s who of the Los Angeles creative scene. Though the day of the relaunch watched Rocky’s Instagram lose over 100,000 followers, this unique reimagining of his social media presence through bold, 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. Moreover, in October of the same year, in the run up to the release of Cozy Tapes Vol. 1, A$AP Rocky premiered the AWGE-directed short film “Money Man.” The movie, a partnership with Red Bull, was a modern reworking of the cult French film La Haine, shot by frequent A$AP Mob collaborator, Dexter Navy, also featuring London grime artist Skepta. The short film was flexing its muscle, an exercise in expression.