“I really love my Tesla. I’m in the future. Thank you Elon.”
In one tweet, Kanye pretty much summed up the A-list hip-hop community’s growing affinity for Teslas. As Pitchfork meticulously documented, artists from Big Sean to Juicy J have mentioned it in their rhymes; Jaden Smith moonwalks in front of one in the video for “ICON.”
Why has the hip-hop world, long impressed by Benzes and ‘Raris, now embraced a car that’s intended to be affordable and attainable for the masses? There are tax cuts for these things — plus you have to plug them in. How unsexy is that?
The reason, according to Pitchfork, has something to do with Musk himself:
Rapper interest in Tesla is twofold: They love any implication of innovation or any association with the cutting edge, and they are amused by the supercar’s toys and gadgets. Elon Musk is viewed by rappers as a futurist, a mega-genius of limitless potential and possibility, and so the Tesla is perceived as the vehicle of tomorrow.
Among the haute, pricey brands often name-checked in rap songs, Tesla stands alone in its potential to actually have an effect on global warming.
The average consumer vehicle produces 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year. At the rate we’re dumping greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, we’re not likely to limit our warming to the semi-non-disastrous 2 degrees Celsius. For now, experts are predicting the effects of warming — more intense storms, rising seas, expanding deserts — could get much worse.
Widespread adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) could put a pretty serious dent in our emissions.
We’re not there yet — gas guzzlers are still the norm. So anyone who can get more people to buy EVs is helping the planet, whether they’re standing in front of the United Nations or the DJ while drinking Hennessey.
It’s not clear whether rapper mentions have led to increased Tesla sales. But there’s no doubt it’s good PR. And since Musk can arguably be a liability to his companies (Tesla in particular), a little extra positive marketing certainly wouldn’t hurt.
READ MORE: Objectified: Why Tesla Is Hip-Hop’s New Car of Choice [Pitchfork]
More on Tesla: Tesla’s Staying Public. Now The Stakes Are Even Higher.