Elon Musk: entrepreneur, investor … rapper?

Name: Elon Musk, the rapper.

Age: Two days, according to SoundCloud.

Appearance: Auto-Tuned and emphatically uncool.

Let me guess – this is just the latest weird pastime from Elon Musk, the entrepreneur. Exactly. And Musk certainly knows how to enjoy himself.

Like the time he wondered aloud about taking his electric car company Tesla private, then got into trouble with the US Securities and Exchange Commission? I was thinking of the time he pretended to start a new tunnel company on a whim. Then actually did start it, with the name the Boring Company. Then promoted it with a sale of novelty flamethrowers.

And what is it this time? He has released a novelty pop song about a dead gorilla called RIP Harambe.

I admit I didn’t see that coming. Musk delights in wrong-footing people. RIP Harambe is very Auto-Tuned, so it’s hard to tell who is singing, but it seems he made it in collaboration with BloodPop, Yung Jake and Caroline Polachek.

I don’t know who any of those people are. It doesn’t matter. The song has already been listened to more than 800,000 times since its release on Saturday.

And who is Harambe again? He was a 17-year-old western lowland gorilla. He lived at Cincinnati Zoo and became world-famous in 2016.

How come? A three-year-old boy got into Harambe’s enclosure, so the zoo authorities shot the gorilla. Since then, Harambe’s undeserved but probably necessary death has become a standard joke on the internet.

Why would you joke about that? It’s awful. Exactly. Some people got so upset about Harambe that being upset about Harambe became a kind of cliche. Now others compete to mourn him more sincerely, more intensely, than anybody else.

Is that what the Musk song does? That’s right. It imagines Harambe in paradise, smoking weed and “sipping on some Bombay”, which is a popular gin brand among rappers. “We miss you,” the voice sings. “We really, really miss you.”

All right. It’s quite a good joke to actually do it. Musk released it under a new “record label” called Emo G. Emoji? Geddit?

That’s not so good. He disagrees. “This might be my finest work,” he said.

I thought Musk was supposed to be grappling with electric car production? And building spaceships to go to Mars? And reinventing transportation with vacuum tubes? And spending time with celebrity girlfriends and ex-girlfriends such as Grimes and Amber Heard? And smoking pot on podcasts? He did that once.

Whatever. The point is, does the future of humanity really depend on one man’s midlife crisis? Well, he wouldn’t put it that way. “Some people use their hair to express themselves, I use Twitter,” Musk said on Monday.

Do say: “Elon, just a suggestion, but how about a holiday?”

Don’t say: “How many more zoo animals must die for one billionaire’s amusement?”


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