Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

In which we try—and fail—to reckon with Elon Musk's awful Harambe Soundcloud rap

Photo: Mark Brake (Getty Images)

As a culture, we spend a lot of time and energy encouraging people to follow their dreams. “You can do anything!” we tell our children, encouraging them to pursue their passions, refuse to listen to naysayers, and just generally trust in themselves in their efforts to excel. In hindsight, this may have been a mistake.

Certainly, we can’t help but point to relentless encouragement as a key factor in the growth of whatever toxic skull rot is currently festering in the brain of car company CEO/lazy meme regurgitator Elon Musk, a beloved internet “genius” whose major contributions to human achievement have been a series of billion dollar Mythbusters stunts, and some bold innovations in the field of whining about unions. And now we must all reap the whirlwind we have sown with this irresponsible exercise in telling people they really are as smart as their parents used to coo at them in the crib, because Musk has now released a heavily auto-tuned Soundcloud song where he raps about dead meme gorilla Harambe, and that’s on all our fucking heads.


It would be an obvious waste of time to describe “RIP Harambe”—or, as it will someday be known, “Exhibit G In The Case Of Tesla Shareholders V. E. Musk”—as a “bad song.” It is prima facie bad; it is bad before, after, and during the process of listening. But it is also bad as a worrying failure of the very concept of shame, that powerful, beautiful, vital force that should stop rich guys from mumbling a pointless tune bouncing in their head into a microphone, slapping some filters on it, and unleashing it on the literally 25.5 million people who are subscribed to their daily litany of internet thoughts. It is the epitome of “LOL Random,” except that no one is laughing, and the randomness carries a calculated awfulness that belies the concept of joy.

It is also a bad song. Like, c’mon, Elon: You couldn’t write more than four lines dropped in a loop?

Harambe could not be reached for comment on this story, because he died back in 2016, because that’s how old this goddamn meme is. Jesus Christ.


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