certified lover boy emojis

This Certified Lover Boy emoji generator is way too much fun to play with

Love or hate Drake's new album (and trust me, there are plenty of people in both camps), we can all agree that the cover art for Certified Lover Boy is a hit. 

Is it weird? Confusing? Lame? Incongruent with the rest of his discography? Some have argued so, but others still have deemed the work a subversive masterpiece, pointing to the apparent involvement of legendary British artist Damien Hirst.

The point is that the 12-emoji album cover got everybody talking. More importantly for the purpose of viral marketing, it got people creating and sharing their own parody versions in the days leading up to last Friday's drop and beyond, well into this week.

A new, free-to-use tool from Canadian software engineer Niko Draca is making it easy for literally anyone to get in on the fun with just a few clicks.

Introducing the Certified Lover Boy Emoji Generator: A microsite that essentially impregnates every human Unicode character, male or female, in a range of skin tones with your choice of shirt colour.

"I saw people making their own emojis in the same style, particularly Lil Nas X, and thought it would be fun to make an app for even more people to get in on the fun," Draca tells blogTO of why he created the tool.

"Generally, I like working on projects that intersect pop culture and technology... However it's not very relevant to the work I do day to day."

The 26-year-old Montreal resident, who works as an engineer for Shopify, admits that creating the app was harder than he thought it would be.

"I wrote code to collect every emoji off of Emojipedia and transform the images into smaller 'parts' of an emoji," he explains. "Think of it like Mr Potato Head, but emojis. Writing code to create all of these new images was a bit of a pain."

Painful but worth it, he says, now that people (including popular music reviewer Anthony Fantano of The Needle Drop) are using it.

Draca says that about 10,000 users had come through the site within just 24 hours of launching, creating all types of pregnant emoji people who can instantly be downloaded as png files.

It's surprisingly addictive once you start making characters — I personally just spent 20 minutes seeing what everyone from an old man to a vampire would look like as one of Drake's CLB emoji cover models.

While Draca, like many people, doesn't think Drake's sixth studio album is his best work, he's clearly a fan of the cover art as a source of inspiration for his own work.

When asked what he wants users to take away from the project, he says: "If you've been thinking of learning how to code, this is your sign to give it a try!"

Lead photo by

Niko Draca

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