First Take Music

Track Review: Elon Musk “RIP Harambe”

Elon Musk tries to mimic human behavior by making a song based on a dead gorilla that became a viral meme 3 years ago.

When I first listened to Elon Musk’s debut single “RIP Harambe”, I thought I was trapped inside a South Park episode. This can’t be real. But I also said that when Donald Trump was elected president, I think it’s just time for me to accept that the world is going insane and enjoy the ride rather than trying to understand it.

If this song is Elon Musk attempting to seem more human it does the exact opposite. It sounds like the song Elon Musk’s Artificial Intelligence robot would make if you input all the music and memes from 2016. I know this is probably part of some larger marketing scheme which I couldn’t even begin to comprehend but from my perspective, it defies all logic. Why release a song about a gorilla who died in 2016? Why try singing when you cannot sing? Why attempt to mimic human emotions and behavior when you’re so clearly an alien? 

I don’t even know where to start with this song. I guess I’ll say right off the bat: It’s really bad. The trap ballad-ish music starts off with some tropical calypso xylophones and then goes batshit insane with these futuristic, distorted synths and effects. It sounds like 3 songs piled on top of each other. And the more it goes on the more overproduced it gets with sound effects, hi-hats, and snares just peppered in seemingly at random. 

All traces of humanity have been removed from Elon Musk’s “performance” as the auto-tune is so heavy you can barely understand what he’s singing about. Elon tries to emulate what the humans refer to as “hip hop” and “trap pop” music with a simple melody but it’s not catchy. This song is devoid of charm or emotion. It’s Elon Musk observing us from afar then going “I’ve figured out the formula” because he thinks music is like engineering. While there is a “formula” for pop music this ain’t it. I thought he was a meme aficionado, why is he still talking about Harambe? The whole thing is out of touch, but maybe that’s the point. He wants people like me to write things like this in order to boost his fame. I’m playing right into his hands.

The lyrics are inexplicable. It’s a love ballad that would have been funny in 2016 but now it’s just confusing.

R.I.P. Harambe/Sippin’ on some Bombay/We on the way to Heaven/Amen, amen/R.I.P. Harambe/Smokin’ on some strong, ayy/In gorilla zoo/And we thinkin’ about you

This tribute is far too late, and the lyrics are so basic that it doesn’t really even pass as a “tribute”. I can imagine Elon Musk sitting in his billion-dollar tech fortress, hands behind his back staring out at us inferior human beings, thinking out loud to his assistant,

“The humans, they like music, yes?”

“Uhh, yes Elon, why do you ask?”

“This ‘music’ amuses me, I shall make my own. It will be perfect, they will be powerless to resist it”

“Elon you have a lot going on with Tesla amongst other things I don’t think you have time.”

“No, it is you who doesn’t have time”



The verses and the chorus are indistinguishable because they have the same melody and flow. Everything is buried beneath these warbly auto-tune vocals that are mixed way too high. In fact, all the elements are mixed way too high. The track is mercifully under 2-minutes but it feels much longer. It’s paint-by-numbers trap ballad music done very poorly but I will say it’s fascinating to watch.

This wasn’t about musical talent anyway, it was about Elon Musk getting more attention. And in that regard, his brief foray into music is successful. Let’s hope he doesn’t confuse attention with demand and ends his music career right now.

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