So how is your emoji game?
Everyone knows about the evolution of emojis, those symbols of our thoughts that reveal what's in our souls by way of email, text messages and social media conversations. They've gone from punctuation smiley faces :-) (Known as smiley's or emoticons) to a graphic pieces of steaming (or smiling) excrement.
According to the website Emojipedia.org which tracks new emoji characters, there are 722 standardized emoji characters in use right now across Apple, Windows and Android platforms. And there are plenty more on the way.
As New York Magazine reported in November the world of emoji is growing, and adding more confusing ways for us to communicate. Call it a death of words if you will, but most of us get the message.
"These new emoji range from obviously useful ones like Cloud With Rain and Dark Sunglasses to questionably useful ones like Reversed Hand With Middle Finger Extended to frankly bizarre ones like Man in Business Suit Levitating ."
But how many of the new crop of emojis are music-related?
That article went on to mention Drake, Beyoncé and R. Kelley in a story about emoji. But it's not like those people actually have their own emoji characters, which seems like a sort of sin when think about it. We have a pile of poop, but no surfboarding Bey?
When it comes to music, outside of instruments or musical notes (or hip-hop references like *100*), emoji don't do a good job or representing the actual people who make music, or the culture. But that's been changing recently and hip-hop has embraced emojis in a new way.
Here are a few examples.
The most notable hip-hop emoji creation thus far has to be the Ghostface Killah emoji pack available from the street art leaning Hi-Art. The free set features various incarnations of the rapper. The best is a loving Ghostface with his eyes made into hearts. Perfect for a Valentine's Day message. And of course, in a nod to his Wu-Tang Clan roots, the word "Cream" spelled out in cash.
Weed smoking emoji
There's a blunt emoji out there, and we know we've seen a joint emoji. It's hard to separate hip-hop from its love of weed culture, so this seems fitting.
There was that time when Cam'ron was a guest on Fox News (yeah, you read that right) and defended hip-hop music on the O'Reilly Factor. One of the many memorable moments was when he got under the skin of another guest, an inner city school principal, and laughed at the man. The phrase "U Mad", which he uttered as he chuckled will live forever with this emoji.
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Leave it to the California rapper Lil B to go overboard. In the fall he released his own self-styled emoji app called Basedmoji. He is, of course, the Based God. Look for it on Apple's app store ( why not, it's free). However, notice it has 1001 reviews, all 5 star notices. How did he do that?
Still, we hope some intrepid hack will make sure Houston is represented as well.
This emoji hip-hop movement doesn't look like it's going to slow down anytime soon.