- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Over the weekend, Elon Musk, who is 47 years old, put out a two-minute, heavily Auto-Tuned "rap" song on SoundCloud called "RIP Harambe." It's the first track from Musk's (hopefully fictitious label), Emo G Records. The song has since accumulated more than one million streams, which is an impressive mark for something that sounds like an iLoveMakonnen reject mixed by a four-year-old and then played off an iPhone 8 that's been submerged underwater.
Of course, that's the bit—Musk, a famously fun-loving guy who was recently the subject of a Bloomberg deep dive entitled "When Elon Musk Tried to Destroy a Tesla Whistleblower"—is all about having a good time, cracking some jokes on the Internet, and parodying hip-hop with a meme from three years ago about a dead gorilla.
"Harambe we love you," Musk sings/raps/somethings. To boost his cool credentials, Musk references "sippin' on that Bombay," and "smoking on some strong." With a net worth north of $20 billion, it's a bit hard to believe Musk is sipping on that Bombay—a fifth of the gin retails for about $20, which is an amount of money Musk has almost certainly not spent on literally anything in multiple decades. He has famously smoked weed before, which he set out to prove with a "420" tweet that earned him a $20 million fine (that's 1,000,000 fifths of Bombay if you're keeping track) from the SEC, in addition to an unconvincing performance puffing the magic dragon with Joe Rogan.
Many of the headlines about Musk's music foray noted that his single came as a surprise, and this is true to some extent, in that Musk did not formally announce a release date for "RIP Harambe." But a mediocre "rap" song from a billionaire who is far Too Online is actually not all that surprising. Billionaires normally fill their time drinking very-much-not-Bombay from a press box while a sport is happening below them. Musk hasn't gone that route yet—he still oversees Tesla, and sometimes we pat him on the head when he draws underground tunnels in crayon—so he spends his remaining free moments craving positive feedback from his legions of MuskHeads.
For whatever reason (rich guy hero worship), the MuskHeads seem willing to overlook their dear leader's out-of-touch meme knowledge, which would ordinarily make him an Internet pariah. What's the big deal? they may ask. In theory, they are right. This is but a blip on Musk's always bumpy Twitter ride, a moment he can sum up as an April Fools' gag if there's enough backlash. To date, however, that isn't what's happened: The reaction to "RIP Harambe" has been largely... positive. Billionaires will be billionaires seems to be the logic behind the feedback, which is a dangerous level of encouragement. A fully emboldened Musk means a future in which a full-length Auto-Tuned album about Kony 2012, Ask a Ninja, and Chuck Norris is blasted into a hyperloop that looks like it was inspired by a Hot Wheels play set.
I, for one, do not desire that future.