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
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 possibly the realization of the creative vision to date, their Midnight Rave in Los Angeles. Titled after Shane Gonzales’ tag Midnight Studios, the Midnight Rave featured performances from DJ Virgil Abloh and designer, along with members of the A$ AP Mob themselves. Set in an abandoned L.A. warehouse, the area was carefully curated using Midnight Rave branding as well as a moving L.E.D bar over the DJ booth. Perhaps most notably, AWGE branding has featured prominently on among 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 videos gaining wide-scale attention and countless perspectives, AWGE remained very much behind the scenes. In describing her involvement to Complex, Selfridge says:”I made each collage by hand with various materials, including photos shot on 35mm film and Polaroid film.” Be music videos it clothing, or expansive events, one thing is for sure: AWGE has 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 AWGE’s core members: Tan Camera and Robert Gallardo. It’s perhaps noteworthy as the inaugural 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 a significant time for the artist’s aesthetic individuality. AWGE and fast forward two decades has remained, by-and-large. He stayed quiet on its objective while noteworthy A$ AP affiliate Ian Connor often shouted out the collective. Since their first project, the collective’s logo was seen with almost all of the Mob’s creative endeavors.
In May 2015, A$AP Rocky relaunched his Instagram with a collection of seamless, curated collages. When seen on any smartphone, Rocky’s feed could be scrolled through transcending Instagram’s squared format at the time. In this sense, it’s a testament to the desire for secrecy of the collective that whilst always putting out high-profile articles, AWGE has managed to continuously shroud itself. We reached out to a few members of the crew, but got the same reply:”The first rule about AWGE is that you don’t talk about AWGE.” Besides the night’s performances, fans who were early enough were able to purchase a limited collaboration T-shirt Midnight Studios, by Abloh’s brand Off-White, and AWGE. Refusing to be restricted by the limitations of one-dimensional art direction, it’s perhaps which we’ll see venture in the future. What about the name what the hell does AWGE mean, anyhow? “The first rule of AWGE is do not ask questions about AWGE,” Rocky replied when asked by The New York Times. “No one should know what the letters stand for. We know what it is, and that is how we want to keep it.” The team’s profile has been raised in August, however, when A$AP Rocky declared the aptly-titled AWGEST: a month-long takeover by AWGE and the A$AP Mob, which featured several record releases, culminating in the launch of the Cozy Tapes Vol. 2 and the launch of a new AWGE website and merch line. Seen often on A$AP Mob members in the run up to the site launch, the merch collection featured AWGE trucker hats in green, blue or red, in addition to a selection of AWGE, which sold out immediately.
The new awgeshit.com site gave fans their first look into the collective’s inner workings, removing the proverbial veil which had surrounded AWGE up until this point. The site’s”About” section clearly lists the members of the AWGE team. It’s a who’s who of A$AP Mob affiliates. The photographer’s work is immediately recognizable for its media collage style references, and off-the-cuff references to iconic brands such as Palace and Goyard. During the A$ AP Mob’s social networking platforms, the DIY aesthetic of Camera has become a staple since the relaunch. AWGE’s scope hasn’t been restricted to audio, however. 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 coat. Similarly, the AWGE team conceptualized Rocky collaboration with GUESS. The initiation of the clubhouse, itself a pop-up shop and installation welcomed in presence a who’s who of the Los Angeles creative scene. Though the day of the relaunch saw Rocky’s Instagram shed over 100,000 followers, this unique reimagining of his social media presence through daring, new visual aesthetics motivated many of the artist’s youthful followers to rethink their own Instagram profiles and ushered in a new era of iPhone curators. 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 flexing its muscle, an exercise in cross-discipline expression.