Lyrical Lemonade’s Summer Smash festival proved to be a blessing for A$AP Rocky fans, as he previewed half an album’s worth of new music in Chicago, Aug 20.
Midway through his performance, he welcomed a few unexpected guests donning white t-shirts as head garments. Those backing Rocky during his headlining set Friday were his AWGE affiliates ICYTWAT and Thoto. The duo is just one of the few acts that Rocky has taken an interest in recently — further developing and growing his AWGE roster from the ground up.
Take a moment to meet the rest of his signees as we enter a new A$AP era.
British rapper slowthai has become well-known as a grime pioneer, with his genre-bending music often having a playfully aggressive tone to it. He boasts collaborations with a variety of artists such as Mura Masa, Skepta, Flume and Brockhampton. Most recently, he appeared on singles with IDLES and Kevin Abstract.
Thoto and ICYTWAT go by the group name ThotTwat, making music reminiscent of Rocky’s old cloud rap days with their own twist. ICYTWAT has been well-established as one of Playboi Carti’s former go-to producers but Thoto’s popularity as a rapper has been steadily growing. There is limited information about Thoto’s origins, however, he is off to a great start in his musical career with his AWGE affiliation. They have both been steadily dropping singles since 2019 and previewing much more material.
Producer Kelvin Krash’s last release was K2, an EP with rapper Kasien. Since then, he has gone on to produce on Rocky’s Testing album as well as slowthai’s TYRON. His instrumentals create an airy atmosphere with heavy 808s and prominent drums that provide the artist ample room to spit.
19-year-old Smooky MarGielaa has already been making waves for a few years despite being so young. He first blew up in 2017 with his single “Stay ‘100’” as well as his appearances on A$AP Mob’s Cozy Tapes 2. He has gone on to collaborate with the likes of Chris Brown, Juicy J, King Combs and HoodRich Pablo Juan.
KEY! may be one of the most eccentric rappers on the roster, with his features ranging from the upper echelon of rap and R&B to underground up-and-comers. His 2018 collaboration album with Kenny Beats, 777, saw critical acclaim as well as a full remix with appearances from 6LACK, Jay Critch, Rico Nasty and Skepta.
AWGE’s rockstar has become a household name with his unique style, flow and sound. He made waves at the end of 2020 with his controversial album Whole Lotta Red as well as dropping collaborations since with Pi’erre Bourne, ABRA and Trippie Redd. His latest announcement is a mystery release titled “Narcissist” dropping Sept. 13.
With Thoto and ICYTWAT confirming collaborations with head honcho Rocky at their Summer Smash appearance, it makes one wonder how many of these artists have material on the horizon. Hopefully listeners can use this inside look on AWGE’s cast to introduce themselves to the next generation of Rocky’s pioneered sound.