Apartheid Clyde meme depicting Elon Musk superimposed over a photograph depicting apartheid in South Africa.

Apartheid Clyde

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Updated Oct 19, 2023 at 05:10PM EDT by Zach.

Added Oct 18, 2023 at 09:37PM EDT by Philipp.

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Apartheid Clyde is a pejorative nickname given to entrepreneur Elon Musk by American rapper Azealia Banks. The nickname was coined by Banks in January 2019 when the rapper feuded with Musk over getting unwillingly involved in his fraud case and references Musk growing up in South Africa during the era of apartheid in the country and the claims that his family profited from owning a share in an emerald mine in the 1980s.


In August 2018, a feud between rapper Azealia Banks and entrepreneur Elon Musk and his then-girlfriend musician Grimes broke out after the former was invited to Musk's house to collaborate on music, which was derailed by Musk's "Funding Secured" tweet,[7] among other things. The feud continued for several years, resulting in mutual insults between Grimes and Banks on social media and Banks posting multiple Instagram stories painting Musk and Grimes in a negative light.

On January 5th, 2019, Azealia Banks posted a story in which she referred to Musk as "Apartheid Clyde," a reference to Musk growing up in South Africa during the era of apartheid and his father, Errol Musk, owning a 50 percent share in an emerald mine in Zambia.[1] On that day, several users on X[2] / Twitter posted about Banks calling Musk "Apartheid Clyde." For example, a post by user @zestyjessee (shown below, left) garnered over 560 reposts and 3,700 likes in five years. Another X[3] post, made by user @PasticheLumumba, gained over 380 reposts and 2,500 likes in the same period (shown below, right).

Zestée Lauder @zestyjesse Ok Azealia Banks calling Elon Muck "Apartheid Clyde" is just a humble reminder that she is the best wordsmith in the game. 11:50 AM. Jan 5, 2019 art21savage @PasticheLumumba Azealia Banks called Elon Musk "Apartheid Clyde" so 2019 is going great already. 12:12 PM Jan 5, 2019


The nickname did not see significant use until September 24th, 2021, when Banks posted a story about Elon Musk and Grimes' breakup, again referring to Musk as "Apartheid Clyde" in her Instagram Story (shown below, left). On the same day, X[4] user @nicholasdante_ posted a screenshot of Banks' Story, with the post garnering over 4,100 reposts and 44,300 likes in two years (shown below, right).

azealiabanks 39m Ok girl, can we finally make those darn songs now that apartheid Clyde is out of the way? We were really supposed to eat these bitches up Page Page Six Six @PageSix ... #BREAKING #EXCLUSIVE: Elon Musk and Grimes break up after three years together trib.al/26rac5q x nicholas dante @nicholasdante_ not apartheid clyde... azealiabanks 39m Ok girl, can we finally make those darn songs now that apartheid Clyde is out of the way? We were really supposed to eat these bitches up Page Page Six Six @PageSix #BREAKING #EXCLUSIVE: Elon Musk and Grimes break up after three years together trib.al/26rac5q 12:19 PM . Sep 24, 2021 x

In the following years, the nickname coined by Banks achieved significant popularity on X / Twitter, with multiple posts in which users referred to Musk as "Apartheid Clyde" going viral on the platform. For example, on April 26th, 2022, X[5] user @9BillionTigers made a post that garnered over 17,900 reposts and 180,000 likes in one year (shown below, left). On November 1st, 2022, X[6] user @chescaleigh made a post about Twitter $8 Blue Checkmark in which she used the nickname. The post gained over 1,500 reposts and 10,000 likes in one year (shown below, right).

Leah Tigers @9BillionTigers I never tweet about Elon Musk because I read the time Azealia Banks called him Apartheid Clyde and felt like that was the end of the discussion 7:17 AM. Apr 26, 2022 Franchesca Ramsey @chescaleigh something I haven't seen in the proposed paid verification discourse, is every other major social network has a revenue program for creators: YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, & tiktok all pay creators for their viral content. but apartheid Clyde wants us to pay for verification? lol 3:33 PM Nov 1, 2022

Space Karen

Space Karen is a pejorative nickname for Tesla founder Elon Musk, which combines the name of Musk's private space exploration company Space X with Karen, a meme character representing an antagonistic, overly entitled woman. The nickname is often associated with a photoshopped image of Musk superimposed with a "Speak to the Manager" haircut. In November 2020, Space Karen trended on Twitter after a user called Musk the nickname in response to his tweet questioning the validity of a coronavirus rapid antigen test.

Various Examples

Tanesha, BSN RN Karen ... @ERnurse86 Why does Grimes keep having babies with Apartheid Clyde? 10:19 AM . Sep 13, 2023 82.7K Views . Stop Cop City @JoshuaPHilll Apartheid Clyde living up to his name Elon Musk Xx x @elonmusk Subscribe They are openly pushing for genocide of white people in South Africa. @Cyril Ramaphosa, why do you say nothing? 9:35 AM - 7/31/23 from Earth 504K Views ALT 2:27 PM Jul 31, 2023 330.9K Views @nottherealtraceydelaney @TraceyDelaney The "comedy is legal now" site gave me my first ever Twitter ban for a joke I made on Wednesday. So here's a pic I made of Apartheid Clyde while I was behind bars. Let Them Tweet Cake 2 வார் 3:45 PM Nov 25, 2022 Tracey Delaney
Uju Anya @UjuAnya I'm not going anywhere. I will stay and insult Apartheid Clyde inside his house. 3:58 PM Apr 25, 2022 brittany spanos @ohheybrittany azealia calling elon "apartheid clyde" now up there with her calling grimes "pabst beer p----" in terms of elite, pointed insults 11:58 AM - Sep 24, 2021 Hurt CoPain @SaeedDiCaprio · Oct 7 but you were always silent when it was the other way around? interesting... Top Q from:elonmusk palestine Latest People 510 Elon Musk X @elonmusk · Oct 7 Sorry to see what's happening in Israel. I hope there can be peace one day. No results for from:elonmusk palestine Try searching for something else, or check your Search settings to see if they're protecting you from potentially sensitive content. 19,994 Hurt CoPain @Saeed DiCaprio apartheid clyde behavior Photos 8:26 AM - Oct 7, 2023 226.7K Views Videos 78.5K ılı 5.2M ←] ...

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