Elon Musk names Kanye West when asked who he's inspired by

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[14:53] Kanye West accepts the Video Vanguard Award
Kanye West accepts the Video Vanguard Award at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, California, August 30, 2015. Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

Business magnate Elon Musk has expressed his admiration for American rapper Kanye West during an appearance at South by Southwest for a Q&A session. He also shared SpaceX’s plans for launching spaceships to Mars.

The SXSW interviewer told Musk that everyone in the room is inspired by him. When asked who he is inspired by, he was quick to respond that it is West, “obviously.” The CEO of Space X and Tesla also mentioned American dancer Fred Astaire, calling him and his movies amazing.

Laughter ensued from the audience after Musk’s answer, but Musk’s facial expression suggested that he was serious with his reply. And it was not the first time Musk has expressed admiration for West.

He wrote about West in 2015 for Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people. "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.”

West is one of today’s most acclaimed rappers and one of the best-selling artists. Apart from being a producer and performer, Kanye has also launched his own clothing line. In 2015, he released his first Adidas Yeezy Boosts.

Musk founded online payments system Paypal and electric car company Tesla. He has also made the most powerful rocket on earth, the Falcon Heavy. He said the rocket is a stepping stone to Mars.

He told the audience at SXSW that he hopes to run test flights of his Mars spaceship in 2019. He was talking about SpaceX’s next-generation BFR rocket system. Musk said the cost-effectiveness of the BFR will allow the creation of a permanent base on the moon and a city on Mars.

He said he thinks they can manage to do short flights, up and down flights, sometime in the first half of next year. "Although sometimes, my timelines are a little, you know..." he also said to laughter.

The venture was announced in September 2017. It seeks to send a cargo mission to the Red Planet by 2022. SpaceX's BFR rocket system is expected to be fully reusable.

Musk was also asked about what the general public could do to help his ambitions of reaching Mars. He said he thinks the biggest thing that would be helpful right now is just general support and encouragement.

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