Kanye West says Elon Musk is advising him on his presidential bid. Here’s how their friendship began and everything that’s happened since.

Elon Musk Kanye West

  • Kanye West announced on July 4 he plans to run for president, and now, he says he’s being advised by his longtime friend, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
  • “We’ve been talking about this for years,” West said in an interview with Forbes. “I proposed to him to be the head of our space program.”
  • Musk and West have been friends since at least 2011, when the musician and fashion designer toured a SpaceX facility with Musk.
  • Since then, Musk has called West his biggest inspiration and has praised him in Time magazine, while West has defended Musk and tweeted about how much he loves his Tesla Model S.
  • The pair hung out at Musk’s house last week, and now, Musk has told West that he has Musk’s “full support” to run for president.

Kanye West has said he’s running for president in 2020, and he has the support of his longtime friend and one of the most powerful people in tech: Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.

The two moguls from different industries have a long-standing friendship, publicly admiring each other’s work and buying each other’s products — and, in Musk’s case, even writing about West in Time magazine.

While it’s unclear how serious West’s bid for the presidency is — he has already missed the deadline in four states to file as an independent candidate, and nine other states have deadlines in July — Musk appears to be on board.

Here’s how Musk and West went from fans of each other’s work to potentially launching a bid for the presidency together.

Musk and West have been friends since at least 2011, when West stopped by SpaceX headquarters.

In December 2011, Musk shared a photo of him and West in front of what appears to be a SpaceX capsule with the caption, “Kanye stopped by the SpaceX rocket factory today.”

Kanye West Elon Musk

In July 2020, Musk responded to an account that reposted the picture, tweeting, “Hell of a decade.”

Musk praised West for Time 100 in 2015, writing that “the dude doesn’t believe in false modesty, and he shouldn’t.”

George Lucas, Kanye West and Elon Musk at the TIME 100 Gala in 2015. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for TIME

“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,” Musk wrote at the time.

In fact, Musk may have unwittingly predicted West’s recent exploits, writing that West wants everyone to “engage, question, push boundaries.”

“He’s not afraid of being judged or ridiculed in the process,” Musk wrote. “Kanye’s been playing the long game all along, and we’re only just beginning to see why.”

For his part, West is an avid Tesla fan, tweeting in 2018 to thank Musk and say that he loves his vehicle’

West bought a Tesla Model S in 2018 that has a custom, matte-silver finish. While some claimed the car was a gift from Musk himself, Musk tweeted at the time that the rumors were false.

At a SXSW panel that same year, Musk was asked who inspires him. He responded: “Kanye West, obviously.”

Elon Musk

During a visit to Detroit that October, West was filmed giving an impassioned defense of Musk following the CEO’s “funding secured” fiasco.

Kanye West

During a stop at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies, West jumped on a classroom table and delivered a seemingly impromptu speech to the students present.

“Elon Musk, I don’t give a f— who’s over at his house,” West said. “Leave that man the f— alone. Leave that man the f— alone.

West’s comments were likely in response to Musk’s scandal from the previous summer, when he tweeted, “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.” The tweet sparked a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and a public spat with the rapper Azealia Banks, who claimed to be at Musk’s house in Los Angeles during that weekend while he was “scrounging for investors” following his tweet.

In December 2019, Musk and his girlfriend, the musician Grimes, stopped by the annual Kardashian-Jenner family Christmas Eve party, posing for a photo with West, Kim Kardashian West, and rappers Travis Scott, Quavo, and Saweetie.

In December 2019, Musk and his girlfriend, the musician Grimes, stopped by the annual Kardashian-Jenner family Christmas Eve party, posing for a photo with West, Kim Kardashian West, and rappers Travis Scott, Quavo, and Saweetie.

During a visit to Musk’s house in July, West tweeted a photo of them with the caption, “When you go to your boys house and you’re both wearing orange,” followed by the orange emoji.

Kanye West Elon Musk

Musk donned shoes from West’s Adidas Yeezy line for the occasion. He wore the Yeezy 500 Slate High, which initially retailed for $200 when the shoe was released in December 2019, according to sneaker marketplace StockX. (West appears to be wearing the Yeezy Quantum “Barium” shoe.)

On July 4, West announced on Twitter he was running for president, with Musk quickly chiming in to support him.

Kanye West

Mere minutes after West’s tweet, Musk responded, publicly backing West

Now, Musk is advising West on his presidential campaign, West told Forbes.

Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX, in May 2014. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

In an interview with Forbes on July 8, West said his presidential campaign has only two advisers: his wife, Kardashian West, and Musk.

In fact, the idea to run for president has apparently been percolating between the two moguls for some time, according to West.

“We’ve been talking about this for years,” West told Forbes. “I proposed to him to be the head of our space program.”

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