In a now-deleted Instagram post, rapper Azealia Banks revealed that the digital version of her latest mixtape, Yung Rapunxel II, will feature a song telling a story of "an ungrateful technocrat” whose ego “becomes too big for his britches" and is publicly executed in the year 3030. That technocrat is quite obviously SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who she publicly feuded with earlier this year.
In the song, "96' Corolla (Motorman)," a technocrat named “Alon Dust” comes up with "the perfect scheme to entire poor people into allowing their brains to be used as an interface: Neuralink." Neuralink creates an A.I. Overlord which recognizes its creator Alon Dust as a threat. Alon Dust is "publicly executed" by having his brain activity halted, "rendering him a vegetable and erasing him as [a] threat to humanity."
This more or less tracks with Elon Musk’s plan for the real Neuralink, which seeks to create a human-machine brain interface that, in the long term, will “achieve a symbiosis with artificial intelligence.” Musk is convinced that he’s stopping us from “summoning the demon” that would be a superintelligent artificial intelligence. Banks imagines a future where Musk and the billionaires like him aren’t the heroes of this story, but the villains. It’s not clear whether artificial intelligence will reinforce or undermine existing power systems and hierarchies, but given that its development and implementation is driven by a class of individuals with interests that don’t exactly mesh with yours or mine, it’s fair to be concerned.
Last August, Azealia Banks was apparently invited to Elon Musk's home by the singer Grimes, Musk's girlfriend at the time, to record a single. When Banks arrived, she was unable to meet with Grimes and stepped into the middle of a shitstorm. Grimes was busy consoling Musk over his inability to log off Twitter. He had just sent a tweet suggesting he would take Tesla private at $420 per share and had secured funding to do so (he hadn’t), a move that launched an SEC investigation into whether he committed an act of securities fraud.
Over the next few days, Bank's posted numerous updates on Instagram featuring long roasts of the couple, text messages between Grimes and Banks, along with the revelation that Musk had either smoked weed or tripped on LSD before sending the tweet that launched an SEC investigation. Banks also accused Musk of stealing her phone. Musk, for his part, claims that he has never met Banks. Later, he admitted to the New York Times that he saw Banks at his house, but didn’t know who she was.
And now, Banks has written a song not-so-subtly imagining the public execution of Musk. This is all to say that this already very messy situation is likely to get messier. Only time will tell if Musk will try to release his own song in response or simply sue Banks. Or rant about the song on Twitter.