If you use an iPhone you are familiar with emoji, the 2.0 version of emoticons. If you follow Chief Keef you are also familiar with emoji, because the 18-year-old Chicago rapper Chief Keef punctuates nearly all of his tweets with them. His most frequent go-tos are the guy blowing smoke out of his nose and, sarcastically, the two crying emoji.
It’s a delight, then, that a studio version of a Keef song called “Emojis” has popped up on the Internet. The track sounds like most of the soon-to-be-jailed MC’s recent output, including latest mixtape Almighty So: Over “Kiss Me Thru the Phone” synth bleeps, he mumble-sings about texting with a girl: “Emojis, emojis / The bitch might text emojis / Emojis, Emojis / So I send emojis.” At less than 90 seconds it’s only a sketch of a song if anything, but Keef’s hazy drawl adds something specific to this subject matter: a feeling of being too stoned, tired, uninterested, or flirty to communicate in anything but cartoons.