There are three golden rules to a healthy relationship: first, try to not be a piece of shit to your significant other; second, communicate; and third, according to Amber Rose, have one sexually explicit conversation a day. You know, to keep the libido flowing. Rose thinks she can help with that last part, and she’s doing it with her MuvaMoji app.
Apps—namely, games and emoji collections—are becoming increasingly popular as a sideline revenue stream for celebrities, an alternative to endorsement deals with every company from FitTea to waist trainers, protein shakes, and those teeth whiteners that Meek Mill loves. And they bring in serious money: MuvaMoji, which launched on March 30 in partnership with Moji on Apple and Google Play, reportedly made $2 million on the first day of its launch; Rose won’t speak on finances, but if the rumors are true, she’s racked in over $4 million on signing and first week sales.
Over the last year, Rose has been expanding her reach. She launched her very own SlutWalk event in Los Angeles last October, which she plans to hold in Brooklyn and LA again later this year. She has her own apparel and sunglass line and residences at clubs across the country, But MuvaMojis distill the essence of Amber Rose more clearly than ever: you can choose between a GIF of her twerking on a stripper pole or twerking outside of her custom pink Jeep; there’s a simple “HOE.” or “THOT” text, pink hoverboards, a Patron bottle, a blunt, and a whopping 13 different eggplant emojis to convey to your girls just how bad that dude’s dick game was.
There’s an entire section dedicated to the LGBT community—including men holding hands in rainbow speedos and some dedicated to dressing in drag—as well as just about every sexually explicit emoji your heart desires. There’s an ass play emoji: there’s KY Jelly, whips, and even one specifically dedicated to your sugar daddy. It’s a perfect, and perfectly inevitable, expansion of her brand.
And given her candid nature (especially compared to other celebrities), Rose is an ideal person to talk to about creative brand expansions. So we hopped on the phone with her as she made her way to her monthly residency at Harrod’s Resort in Atlantic City to talk about the app’s first week success, what to expect from SlutWalk2016, and how to execute a perfect sext with MuvaMoji.
What made you decide to get into the celebrity app game?
I’ve been working on it for six months now, I just thought it was really cool. In the midst of working on it, Kim [Kardashian] came out with hers and I was like, “Shit. I’m not going to stop working on mine now.” I’m doing this for my fans, basically. There’s only so many things you can do in the world—I’m not like Bill Gates where I’m going to create something brand new that nobody knows about. All I can continue to do is do things for me and my fan. I don’t think there should be comparisons. There’s quite a few rappers who have emojis and no one compares them, they always just do it to women because they want a feud. But I wanted this to be very appropriate for my life and I put in a lot of cool emojis and everyone seems to really love it.
The celeb app economy has become pretty fascinating—was this your idea or did a team bring it your way?
We partnered with Moji—someone approached my team about it. They come to you and they say, “Hey, is this something you’re interested in? Is this something you’d want to do?” Then you start the creative process: you’re bringing on another job, and you figure out how you want it. I thought the cartoonish version of my emoji was way cooler [than the original emojis out there] so that’s the one that I went with. I just thought it was cute and so I started the creative process and now we’ve got 900 emojis.
And you guys are now updating it weekly?
Yeah, with apps, you’ve got to go through this process with the Apple store and then with Google Play and sometimes shit gets messed up.
What are some of your personal favorites on the app?
I wanted to put in some emojis that made it easier for you to just text without you saying anything. So I really went deep—there’s douche, there’s a tampon, with even the food I tried to get really cool ideas and make it look better than the regular emojis. The GIFs are really cool. I added emojis for even something like putting on makeup. If you’re talking to your friends and you’re on the way to the club with your girls, you can just hit him with an emoji like, “I’m still doing my makeup.” I just figured there’s a lot of cool things that girls actually do that you can just send an emoji for, it’s self-explanatory.
There are also more controversial ones, like the Bill Cosby emoji.
For obvious reasons, I am a feminist. I do believe that he did it. I know it’s innocence until proven guilty, but I believe that he’s guilty. I believe that 52 women who do not know each other aren’t lying just to put him in jail for no reason. It’s common sense, it’s being a logical person. You can just see it. I had to throw in a few tidbits in [the app]. I don’t mind being controversial, I don’t give a shit about the comments or what people say. It’s my emojis. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it, it’s that simple.
There’s the “Free Kesha” emoji, too. What’s been your reaction to her current legal situation?
I’ve tried to reach out to her. For me, I think me and Kesha should just go in front of the Sony HQ and just protest and just call all of our fans to just come out and do it. I don’t know what she’s going through legally, or what she can and can’t do at this point, but I would like to have that conversation with her. I have her back for whatever. I don’t give a fuck about Sony. I’m going to always do what’s right and what I’m passionate about. I think it’d be cool to bring our fans together and protest and really make a scene.
Definitely. You’re in a long distance relationship these days [with Toronto Raptors player Terrence Ross]. What’s your advice for sexting with the MuvaMojis?
I believe that you should have one sexual conversation a day with your significant other. It should be some form of seduction, at least once a day. Minimum. In order to keep a healthy relationship. Especially long distance. As far as the variety of eggplant emojis go, one has bruises all over it, the other one is cut in half, you know, for when you’re angry. There’s one that’s blue—you know what that is. I just wanted to give people options.
Do you and Terrence sext with these emojis?
Of course, he downloaded it. He better! He does text me with the emojis sometimes, for sure.
So the first addition was an emoji for Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian.
She thought it was so cute! Obviously I knew about the engagement before the world did, so I had time to get that emoji mocked up and she loved it. I felt like that was coming—when two people love each other like that, you just know. You know what it is, just the way they looked at each other and the way they are together. It’s cute.
Think you’ll be the maid of honor?
I don’t know! I don’t think she’ll have a maid of honor, but I don’t know. I would hope so but maybe she just has too many friends for that. Sometimes you can’t! When you have a wedding, and you have so many best friends, you can’t just pick one or not have a maid of honor or pick your cousin or someone in your family.
So now that MuvaMoji is out and successful, what other things are you planning on doing to extend the Amber Rose brand?
I really love being an entrepreneur, just to dip and dab and figure out what I like along the way. It’s exciting to me. I just get bored very easily so I like to do a bunch of different things and I’m just going to continue to do that and figure it out as I go.
What’s going on with SlutWalk 2016?
It’s going to be in Brooklyn this year, probably by the Brooklyn Bridge, I’m trying to get the permits now. That’ll be in the summer, and in October, we’ll have it in Los Angeles again. This year is going to be way bigger: I feel like last year we had to really ask for donations and like I told you before, I put in tens of thousands of dollars of my own money just to get it off the ground and invest in it. I really just had to make a point and bring awareness to exactly what I’m doing and what it is. People didn’t necessarily get it last year but now more women across the world are like, “Please bring SlutWalk here.” Especially in New York, it’s going to be mayhem.
Have you seen a change in acceptance of the ideas you were pushing during SlutWalk?
Absolutely. I’m so happy I was able to make a difference even though I had to take a lot of punches and a lot of criticism, a lot of bullshit, a lot of people talking really bad about me, but at the end of the day, I knew my end goal and now when I see rappers saying “Yeah, this hoe did this,” their entire comment section is like, “You’re slut shaming! You can’t do that!” I poke my chest out and I’m proud because I know I contributed to that and I know that I really brought awareness to slut shaming, victim blaming, and body shaming. My end goal was to use my celebrity to bring awareness to what’s really going on. And I feel like I helped out a lot and it’s only going to grow. SlutWalk this year is going to be huge.
Lauren Nostro is a writer and editor in New York. Follow her on Twitter @LaurenNostro.
Illustration by Bobby Finger, screenshots via Lauren