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. Rocky Asap
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 perhaps the realization of the vision their Midnight Rave in Los Angeles, 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, along with designer. 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 above the DJ booth. 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 videos gaining wide-scale attention and millions of 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 expansive events, music videos, or it clothes, one thing is for sure: AWGE has surprises in store. 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: Robert Gallardo and Tan Camera. While, in and of itself, this undertaking was an important moment for the artist’s aesthetic individuality, it is perhaps most notable since the project of the AWGE collective, the secret cabal of musicians, stylists, and creators of A$ AP Rocky. Fast forward two decades and AWGE has remained, by-and-large. He remained quiet while notable A$ AP affiliate Ian Connor often shouted out the collective. Since their first project, the collective’s emblem has been spotted in connection with nearly all of the Mob’s creative endeavors.
In May 2015, A$AP Rocky relaunched his Instagram with a series of seamless, curated collages. Rocky’s feed could be scrolled through as a constant experience, transcending Instagram’s conventionally arrangement at the moment, when viewed on any smartphone. In this sense, it’s a testament to the collective’s desire for secrecy that whilst consistently putting out articles, AWGE has managed to continuously shroud itself. We reached out to a few members of the team, but got the same answer:”The first rule about AWGE is you don’t talk about AWGE.” Besides the night’s performances, fans who were were able to buy a collaboration T-shirt Midnight Studios, by Abloh’s brand Off-White, and AWGE. Refusing to be confined by the constraints of art management, it’s perhaps that we will see venture farther . What about the title what the hell does AWGE mean, anyway? “The first rule of AWGE is do not ask questions about AWGE,” Rocky replied when asked by The New York Times. “No one needs to know what the letters stand for. We know what it is, and that is how we want to keep it.” The crew’s profile was raised in August, however, when A$AP Rocky declared the aptly-titled AWGEST: a month-long takeover by AWGE and the A$AP Mob, which featured several record releases, culminating in the release of this Cozy Tapes Vol. Two and the launching of a new AWGE site and merch line. Seen frequently on A$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.
The website’s”About” section clearly lists the members of their AWGE team. It. The photographer’s work is immediately recognizable for its mixed media collage style references, and references that are off-the-cuff to brands like Goyard and Palace. Since the relaunch, Camera’s DIY aesthetic has become a staple throughout the A$AP Mob networking platforms. AWGE’s scope hasn’t been restricted to audio. In 2016 rumors of a potential cooperation with fashion critic favorite J.W. Anderson were confirmed, with Rocky frequently seen sporting the collection’s standout piece, a faux fur teddy coat. Likewise the stand-out collaboration with GUESS of Rocky was conceptualized from the AWGE team. Buoyed by the success of their first collaborative collection, which sold out globally, and to coincide with the collaboration’s second iteration, AWGE introduced the’A$AP Rocky x GUE$$ Clubhouse’. The launch of the clubhouse installation and a pop-up shop motivated by a’90s treehouse, welcomed in attendance 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 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. Moreover, in October of the same year, in the run up to the launch of Cozy Tapes Vol. 1, A$AP Rocky premiered the AWGE-directed short film “Money Man.” The film, a partnership with Red Bull, was a modern reworking of the cult French movie La Haine, shot by regular A$AP Mob collaborator, Dexter Navy, and featuring London grime artist Skepta. The short film AWGE flexed a workout in expression, its muscle.