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. AWGE
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.
Furthermore, in October of the same year, in the run up to the launch of Cozy Tapes Vol. The movie, a partnership with Red Bull, was a contemporary reworking of the cult French film La Haine, shot by frequent A$AP Mob collaborator, Dexter Navy, also featuring London grime artist Skepta. The short film AWGE flexed a workout in cross-discipline expression, its muscle. While, in and of itself, this undertaking was an important moment for the artist identity, it is perhaps noteworthy since the inaugural project of this AWGE collective, the secret cabal of musicians, stylists, and creators of A$ AP Rocky. Fast forward two years and AWGE has stayed, by-and-large, a mysterious thing to those who’ve followed the A$AP Mob. He stayed quiet, while AP affiliate Ian Connor shouted out the collective. Since their first job, the emblem of the collective has been spotted with almost all the Mob’s creative endeavors. The site’s”About” section clearly lists the integral members of their AWGE team. It.
What about the name itself — what the hell does AWGE mean? “No one should know what the letters stand for. We all know what it is, and that’s how we want to keep it.” In May 2015, A$AP Rocky relaunched his Instagram using a series of seamless, curated collages. Rocky’s feed could be scrolled through transcending Instagram’s squared format at the time when viewed on any smartphone. Perhaps most importantly, 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 views, AWGE remained very much behind the scenes. Besides the performances of the night, fans who were early enough were able AWGE, and to purchase a limited collaboration T-shirt Midnight Studios, by Abloh’s brand Off-White. Refusing to be confined by the constraints of art management, it is in this box-less way that we will see AWGE venture in the future. The scope of AWGE hasn’t been restricted to audio. In 2016 rumors of a possible cooperation with fashion critic favorite J.W. Anderson were verified, with Rocky often seen sporting the collection’s standout piece, a faux fur teddy coat. Likewise the AWGE team conceptualized the stand-out collaboration with GUESS of Rocky. The initiation of the clubhouse installation and a pop-up shop inspired 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’installation’, and it was through this lens that the world was introduced into 2 of the core members of AWGE: Tan Camera and Robert Gallardo.
Be it clothing, music videos, or events that are grand, one thing is for sure: AWGE has more surprises in store. The team’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 the Cozy Tapes Vol. 2 and the launching of a new AWGE website and merch line. Seen frequently on A$AP Mob members in the run up to the site launch, the merch collection featured trucker hats in green, blue or red, in addition to a choice of AWGE, which sold out immediately. In describing her involvement to Complex, Selfridge says:”I made each collage by hand with various materials, including photos shot on 35mm film and Polaroid film.” Although the day of the relaunch watched Rocky’s Instagram shed over 100,000 followers, this unique reimagining of his social media presence through bold, new visual aesthetics motivated many of the artist’s young followers to rethink their own Instagram profiles and ushered in a new age of iPhone curators. The photographer’s work is instantly recognizable for its mixed media collage style references, and references to iconic brands such as Goyard and Palace. During the A$ AP Mob media platforms, Camera’s DIY aesthetic has become a staple since the relaunch. In this sense, it’s a testament to the collective’s desire for secrecy that whilst always putting out high-profile content, AWGE has managed to continuously shroud itself. We reached out to some members of the crew, but got the same answer:”The first rule about AWGE is you do not talk about AWGE.” In the midst of AWGEST, the AWGE enterprise unleashed what is the most complete realization of their vision to date, their Midnight Rave in Los Angeles. Titled after Shane Gonzales’ punk-inspired tag Midnight Studios, the Midnight Rave featured performances from global designer and DJ Virgil Abloh, along with members of the A$AP Mob themselves. 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 over the DJ booth.