Elon Musk Pens a Tribute to… Kanye West?!

Elon Musk has contributed to TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list, with the SpaceX founder and PayPal, Tesla Motors and Zip2 co-founder penning a tribute to Kanye West.

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Musk described a surprising admiration he holds for the Yeezus creator, praising the musician’s tenacity and fearlessness in the face of strong criticisms and both media and public backlash.

He wrote:

Kanye West would be the first person to tell you he belongs on this list. The dude doesn’t believe in false modesty, and he shouldn’t. 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.

In his debut album, over a decade ago, Kanye issued what amounted to a social critique and a call to arms (with a beat): “We rappers is role models: we rap, we don’t think.” But Kanye does think. Constantly. About everything. And he wants everybody else to do the same: to engage, question, push boundaries.

Now that he’s a pop-culture juggernaut, he has the platform to achieve just that. He’s not afraid of being judged or ridiculed in the process. Kanye’s been playing the long game all along, and we’re only just beginning to see why.

The special annual edition of the magazine will be available later this month, with Kanye, Bradley Cooper, Nadia Comaneci, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Jorge Ramos having been revealed as the five cover stars of the upcoming mag.

Check out TIME’s interview with Kanye, in which he states that he “doesn’t care” about his legacy, below:

You can view the TIME 100 here.

Photo: Getty Images