Everybody remembers the incident at the Cincinnati Zoo back in 2016, when a Silver Back gorilla was shot and killed after a child fell into its cage. To this day, the moment has remained one of much controversy, as many believe that the endangered animal’s life was taken far too soon.
Following the incident, people took to social media in protest of the decision to take the gorilla’s life, which thereafter made him an internet sensation. Although Harambe the gorilla is no longer physically with us, his spirit remains, living forever in our hearts and within the dankest of memes.
As a way of celebrating April Fools’ Day and commemorating the life of Harambe, the South African billionaire Elon Musk decided to pull a fast one on all of us, by dropping his debut track, “RIP Harambe.”
Along with being the CEO of Tesla and co-founding numerous other sizable companies, Musk ranks 40th on this year’s Forbes List. Being one of the wealthiest and most powerful people in the world, Musk has also become a marvel of the internet.
Now with his new executively produced track, “RIP Harambe,” Musk has officially outdone himself. Any other spacecraft or life-changing inventions that he creates in the future will fall to the wayside, as “RIP Harambe” is already altering the lives of many with its fiery lyrical bars. My only hope is that if extraterrestrial life decides to stop by planet Earth, that one of us humans will be gracious enough to lend them a pair of air pods playing the overly autotuned “RIP Harambe.”
Undoubtedly, Musk must have been the mastermind behind the endeavor, and though he is a genius at many things, I don’t believe that singing falls into that repertoire. Turning once again to the internet, Musk reached out to Yung Jake to be the writer and vocalist of the rhythmical rap. Yung Jake is an influential artist on YouTube, where he showcases his rap music and videos; he has also been recognized for his portraits of famous celebrities made solely out of emojis, including one of the handsome Harambe himself.
Together, Musk, Harambe and Yung Jake are the ultimate pop culture trifecta of awesome. Even though the release of the song was made to be an April Fools’ Day hoax, the track has a catchy chorus that lodges itself within your brain: “R.I.P. Harambe, sippin’ on some Bombay (Ayy) / We on the way to Heaven, amen, amen / R.I.P. Harambe, smokin’ on some strong hay (That strong) / In gorilla zoo (In a zoo) and we thinkin’ about you.”
The track has received hundreds of thousands of listens since April Fools’ Day, and I fully suspect that the song will take off and become one of this summer’s anthems, as many have welcomed the ditty with open and eager ears. If not an anthem of summer, then it will surely be that of planet Mars.
However, I think that it will be perceived for what it is — a practical joke, played on road trips, delirious late-night sleepovers, karaoke bars and obnoxious house parties. To my surprise, although the song is about losing something precious, it is an upbeat banger that makes me want to sing and dance along, so maybe “RIP Harambe” is about loss, but mostly it is a celebratory anthem of a life well lived.
I personally appreciate the fact that not only a rich public figure made a funny song about a gorilla that dominates memes, but the way the lyrics of the song and the way that the song was produced all tie into the joke as well. The lyrics have a calculated lack of depth that highlight their absurdity. The sickening amount of autotune that was used is intentional and pokes fun at the current music industry, where much of the organic sound is blanketed by robotic voice layovers.
If there are any lessons to be learned here, it is that you should never be too quick to judge: a situation, a person or a song, among many other things. A situation may not be as severe as initially thought, a well-to-do person can still express wit and a song meant to prank can still be tasteful. “Harambe, that strong (Harambe) / In a zoo, we love you (Harambe)” indeed.