- Rapper Azealia Banks and Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s lives have become entangled after Banks spent the weekend at one of Musk’s properties earlier in August and made a series of claims about the billionaire on social media.
- Banks claimed Musk ignored her when she visited his house, misrepresented their interaction, and has taken control of her phone.
- “I’m like in tears right now,” Banks told Business Insider on Monday evening. “This has nothing to do with me.”
- Here’s a timeline of the Banks-versus-Musk battle, as decoded via Business Insider exclusives, social media, and more.
Azealia Banks and Elon Musk are an unlikely pair.
However, in some of the most high-pressure weeks in the Tesla’s CEO’s career, the rapper has become an unexpected source of complications for the billionaire.
Banks has publicly claimed on social media that Musk avoided her after inviting her to his home, misrepresented the situation to the media, and – most recently – took possession of her phone. Musk, meanwhile, has denied many of Banks’ claims and apparently deleted his Instagram account, following her most recent call out.
The interactions between the two typically outspoken celebrities can be difficult to untangle. Here’s everything we know about the timeline of how things have gone down between Banks and Musk.
July 30: Grimes announces on Twitter she plans to collaborate with Banks.
Grimes, whose real name is Claire Boucher, is a Canadian musician and producer.
Boucher attended the Met Gala in early May with Musk. At the time, Page 6 reported the pair had met on Twitter and been “quietly dating” for the past few weeks.
While Boucher was fated to bring Musk and Banks together, her relationship with the rapper goes back significantly longer than her romance with Musk. Back in 2014, Boucher tweeted a heart emoji at Banks’ now-deactivated Twitter account.
In summer 2018, Boucher and Banks confirmed plans to collaborate. In July, Boucher tweeted she had started a number of beats for Banks and just needed the rapper to visit Los Angeles to finish the work.
August 7: ‘Funding secured.’
“Am considering taking Tesla private at $US420. Funding secured,”Musk tweeted on August 7, before issuing a formal statement on the company’s website.
Tesla shares skyrocketed following the tweet, rising by as much as 12%, to over $US381.
However, the tweet also plunged Tesla into intensified scrutiny.The Wall Street Journal reported on August 8 that the SEC had made an inquiry into Tesla regarding the truthfulness and motivation of Musk’s tweets.
August 10: Banks arrives at one of Musk’s Los Angeles properties and crosses paths with the CEO.
Banks told Business Insider she arrived early on Friday morning, with The New York Times confirming last week that she arrived at one of Musk’s Los Angeles properties in the predawn hours.
Banks said in an Instagram DM to Business Insider on August 13 Musk seemed distracted over the weekend.
“I saw him in the kitchen tucking his tail in between his legs scrounging for investors to cover his arse after that tweet,” she said. “He was stressed and red in the face.”
Banks added: “He’s not cute at all in person.”
Banks also said that she was not trying to eavesdrop but that Musk seemed to be scrambling.
August 12: Banks compares her weekend at Musk’s to ‘Get Out.’
On Friday, August 10, Musk and Boucher left for Def Con, a hacking conference in Las Vegas. According to Musk and Banks, they did not see the other again for the rest of the weekend.
According to Banks, Boucher and Musk essentially went into hiding as Tesla sought funding. But, Banks said the couple kept stringing her along with the promise of collaborating on music.
“They bring me out there on the premise that we would hang and make music,” Banks said to Business Insider. “But his dumbass kept tweeting and tucked his dick in between his arse cheeks once shit hit the fan.”
On the evening of Sunday, August 12, the rapper posted on Instagram: “I waited around all weekend while grimes coddled her boyfriend.” In another story, she wrote that “staying in Elon musks house has been like a real like episode of ‘Get Out.'”
Banks told Business Insider she left Musk’s property late on Sunday.
August 13: Musk explains “funding secured” and denies meeting Banks. Banks insists otherwise and says Musk “lies about everything.”
On the morning of August 13, Musk said in a statement on Tesla’s website that he used the phrase “funding secured” to indicate that he believes there was “no question” that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund would provide funding to convert Tesla into a private company.
Banks told Business Insider on August 13, in an article published the same day, that her perception after spending a weekend on one of Musk’s properties was that Musk did not, in fact, have funding secured.
After Business Insider published its story, Musk told a Gizmodo reporter he “has never even met [Banks] or communicated with her in any way.” A spokesperson for Musk offered Business Insider the same comment, but did not deny that Banks had stayed at one of Musk’s properties over the weekend.
Banks disagreed with the characterization, pointing to the interaction in the kitchen.
“He lies about everything,” Banks said in an Instagram DM to Business Insider on the evening of August 13.
She added: “Just like he lied about funding secured.”
Banks also provided texts that appear to be from Mac Boucher, Grimes’ brother and collaborator, that seem to indicate Musk attempted to meet with the rapper on August 13. Banks did not respond to follow-up inquires on if she and Musk had met.
Neither Boucher sibling responded to Business Insider’s requests for comment.
August 16: Musk admits to seeing Banks at one of his homes.
In a wide-ranging interview with The New York Times, Musk finally confirms that he and Banks crossed paths on August 10.
“I saw her on Friday morning, for two seconds at about a 30-foot distance as she was leaving the house,” Musk told The Times. “I’d just finished working out. She was not within hearing range. I didn’t even realise who it was. That’s literally the only time I’ve ever laid eyes on her.”
August 18: Banks posts what appears to be messages between her and Grimes about Musk, sent prior to their planned meeting, on Instagram.
After a few days with little mention of Musk on Bank’s social media, she posted an Instagram story that stated “Elon musk has been tapping my phone all week.”
Banks reportedly additionally posted, then deleted, what appear to be messages between herself and Claire Boucher (named Grimes in Banks’ phone) on her Instagram story. The messages discuss kidnapping concerns, Musk’s heritage and accent, among other things.
Banks had previously told Business Insider that she had exchanged messages with Boucher about drug use, but asked for money in exchange for the screenshots. (It is against Business Insider’s policy to pay sources.)
August 19: Musk and Grimes stop following each other on social media.
Over the weekend, Boucher and Musk unfollowed each other across a number of platforms.
“Neither follows the other on Instagram despite publicly interacting on the social media site in June, and Musk unfollowed Grimes on Twitter early Sunday,” Business Insider reported.
As of Tuesday, Boucher still follows Musk and Tesla on Twitter.
August 20: Banks demands Musk return her phone.
Banks posted a series of cryptic messages about Musk on her Instagram on Monday evening, demanding in a series of updates that the billionaire returns her phone. She also threatened to call the police.
According to one now-deleted Instagram story, screenshotted by Cheddar anchor Hope King below, Banks claims that Musk’s attorney has Banks’ phone and is deleting evidence.
“It’s a fucking mess I want my phone and I want to go home,”Banks told Business Insider when asked for further details via Instagram DM late Monday evening Pacific Time. While Banks left Musk’s house on August 10, the New York City-based rapper is still in Los Angeles.
“I’m like in tears right now,” she added. “This has nothing to do with me.”
Representatives for Tesla and Musk declined to comment.
August 21: Musk apparently deletes his Instagram.
Musk’s Twitter account, which has more than 8 million followers, vanished early on Monday morning.
The Tesla CEO was active on Instagram until late into Monday night and Tuesday morning. Just before 1 a.m. PT, around the same time Banks was posting her Instagram stories, Musk liked a World of Engineering Instagram post.
Representatives for Tesla and Musk declined to comment.
August 21: Banks reveals texts that seem to suggest Musk’s’ “funding secured” tweet was a weed reference.
A screenshot Banks shared with Business Insider prior to posting it on her Instagram story Tuesday appears to show Grimes writing:
“he just got into weed cuz of me and he’s super entertained by 420 so when he decided to take the stock private he calculated it was worth 419$ so he rounded up to 420 for a laugh and now the sec is investigating him for fraud”.
Musks’ spokesperson told Business Insider last week that any allegations of illegal drug use were “utter nonsense.”
“It seemed like better karma at $US420 than at $US419,” Musk told The New York Times last week. “But I was not on weed, to be clear. Weed is not helpful for productivity. There’s a reason for the word ‘stoned.’ You just sit there like a stone on weed.”
Boucher and Musk’s representatives did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment on Tuesday.