This past Sunday, Elon Musk made an appearance at South by Southwest for a Q&A session. During the discussion, the tech maven relayed SpaceX’s plans for launching spaceships to Mars in the first half of 2019 as well as his utmost admiration for Kanye West.
When the SXSW interviewer asked, “Everyone in the room is inspired by you. Who are you inspired by?” Musk quickly responded, “Kanye West, obviously.” Check out his response, below.
— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) March 11, 2018
Laughter from the crowd ensued after his response, but from the expression on Musk’s face, he appeared to very serious. In fact, this isn’t the first time Musk praised YEEZUS. In a 2015 blurb for Time’s 100 Most Influential People, the engineering whiz commented on West’s inclusion. He expressed the following:
Kanye West would be the first person to tell you he belongs on this list. The dude doesn’t believe in false modesty, and he shouldn’t. Kanye’s belief in himself and his incredible tenacity—he performed his first single with his jaw wired shut—got him to where he is today. And he fought for his place in the cultural pantheon with a purpose.
In his debut album, over a decade ago, Kanye issued what amounted to a social critique and a call to arms (with a beat): “We rappers is role models: we rap, we don’t think.” But Kanye does think. Constantly. About everything. And he wants everybody else to do the same: to engage, question, push boundaries. Now that he’s a pop-culture juggernaut, he has the platform to achieve just that. He’s not afraid of being judged or ridiculed in the process. Kanye’s been playing the long game all along, and we’re only just beginning to see why.
What are your thoughts on Musk’s number one inspiration? Let us know in the comments below and then check out Musk and his Boring Company’s recently-unveiled, futuristic train cars.