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  • In the 2010s, the controversial power couple that ruled pop culture was undeniably Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Over the course of the decade, they defined an era of vanity, excess, and dissociation. 
  • But in the roaring 2020s, Kimye has slowly but surely toppled from grace — or, at least, they don't hold our collective attention the way the pairing used to. Instead, a new alternative has arisen: Canadian musician Grimes and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
  • Grimes and Musk compliment the attributes that drove Kimye's success, but with a forward-thinking aesthetic that may summon a brighter spotlight in the new decade. As an eccentric industry leader and acclaimed artist preparing for her comeback, it could be the perfect storm of chaos and futurism.
  • The recent appearance of baby bump photos on Grimes' social media accounts has led to rampant speculation that the pair is expecting a child. Neither Grimes nor Musk have officially confirmed her pregnancy yet, but the signs point toward a 2020 baby.
  • Even if you hate Grimes, Musk, or both of them, that just goes to show they can be the center of discourse and drama for years to come, just like Kardashian and West have been. 
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

On Christmas Eve, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West took a picture with Elon Musk and Grimes (real name Claire Boucher, goes by "c" these days). Kardashian stood front and left, her perfectly symmetrical face cast in an angelic glow, hourglass figure wrapped in vintage snakeskin Dior. West stood directly behind her, wearing useless indoor sunglasses. And behind him loomed the other couple.

Musk and Grimes don't look very glam, especially compared to Kimye. Musk has a loose gray tie wrapped around his neck like a seventh-grader and Grimes has an orange bun plopped atop her head like she's already in bed for the evening. They also both appear to be mid-grimace, like chaperones at the back of a prom picture.

Christmas Eve ?

A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on Dec 27, 2019 at 9:01pm PST

But their stance – turned toward each other, unapologetically facing the camera, creeping up on what's still arguably the world's most controversial power couple you either love to hate or hate to love – is indicative of what's to come. Grusk, or Mimes, or preferably just Musk and Grimes, are set for 2020s pop culture domination. 

Meanwhile, Kardashian and West are clinging onto the position of global A-listers, but they're becoming less and less relevant by the day. Kylie Jenner stole her big sister's spotlight a few years and one baby ago, while "Jesus Is King" and that tin man look were just two blips on the ever-sinking radar that is West's decline in popularity.

Kimye will always have their place in pop culture, but the era of "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" and diet shake advertisements are firmly in the past. As we turn toward the next decade, full of grim uncertainty and aesthetics that reflect our polarized states of being, a new duo must arise in their stead – here's the case for one viable option.

Grimes and Musk have the same forward-thinking attributes that elevated Kimye in the 2010s, as long as their relationship lasts

There are strong similarities between the two couples. They both involve one critically beloved musician with a devoted cult following and one disruptive industry leader with obsessive fans.

What made Kardashian and West such a provocative, culturally powerful couple was seemingly their prescience. And everything from their stylistic choices to their endlessly quotable moments made people hate or worship them.

West redefined the most popular genre of music and became a sneaker icon while also making bold, oftentimes horrifically obtuse political and cultural statements. Kardashian redefined the definition of a celebrity, becoming one of the most hated women on the planet in the process. 

SpaxeX founder Elon Musk (L) and Canadian musician Grimes (Claire Boucher) attend the 2018 Space X Hyperloop Pod Competition, in Hawthorne, California on July 22, 2018.
SpaceX founder Elon Musk (L) and Canadian musician Grimes (Claire Boucher) attend the 2018 Space X Hyperloop Pod Competition, in Hawthorne, California on July 22, 2018.
ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

In terms of net worth, name recognition, and industry leading, Musk is obviously the dominant force in his and Grimes' relationship. And he's not just the CEO of future-oriented companies like Tesla, The Boring Company, and SpaceX, but he's also a "cool" CEO who tweets about memes and accidentally sends his stock value crashing.

It's actually very West-esque, given the fact that Musk is clearly a genius but also does extremely stupid things. And the two have a great relationship. Musk praised West back in 2015 for TIME, writing "But Kanye does think. Constantly. About everything. And he wants everybody else to do the same: to engage, question, push boundaries."

Clearly, Musk feels the same way about himself, and just like West, he has intensely devoted fanboys to square off against his many detractors. But where West hoped to succeed but has so far fallen flat – becoming a business mogul, contributing to human progress, starring in an opera – Musk has pretty much succeeded, minus the opera. 

In the 2020s, it's a given that Musk will continue to be one of the biggest names in technology and business, and easily one of the most publicly eccentric. He will also continue to make people very angry, like when he won the right to tweet baseless accusations of pedophilia and when he appeared in "Rick and Morty."

Most importantly, Musk will likely make some advancements here on Earth and in space. He has staggering plans to reach Mars and tunnel underground, and even if he does not pull them off, he will be recognized for trying. As the effects of climate change guide the next decade, Musk's questionable role as a would-be savior will surely shine.

—Cordial Lump (@Cordial_Lump) December 9, 2019

Don't underestimate Grimes, either. She may still elicit a lot of questions – including "Who is that?" – and she doesn't have the clout of either Kardashian or West. Her relationship with Musk has yet to be totally defined, since it's seemingly been rocky since their iconic introduction at the 2018 Met Gala red carpet.

As of this week, the relationship became a lot more buzzworthy. Grimes posted two photos to her social media accounts showing a baby bump, and seemed to confirm her pregnancy in replies to comments. Neither she nor Musk have officially confirmed that they're having a baby, but if they were, that's just the perfect starting point for their decade of pop culture domination. 

Grimes is also preparing for a musical comeback with her next album "Miss Anthropocene," which will require her to revamp her public image and role as a quirky alternative to the glossier musicians that dominate pop culture.

Grimes' e-girl aesthetic just might be the perfect fit for the vibe of the 2020s, and she's already stretching into the futuristic frontiers of TikTok, video game vlogging, and pseudo-scientifc ad campaigns while keeping up her profile with the occasional celebrity feud

A perfect example of the duo's prime potential for controversy is the Azealia Banks saga. In 2018, we as a culture were not ready for this conflict. We barely understood what was going on, and thus, it barely got the limelight it deserved. 

In the 2020s, we've seen enough weirdness to embrace the bizarre, gripping lives of the weirdos that are Grimes and Musk. Better yet, we're over the polish and pettiness of the Kardashians and we're sick of West's antics. We need something fresh for discourse and drama, and if Grimes and Elon can make it for the next few years, they're the perfect fit for the roaring twenties, take two. 

This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author(s).

More: Elon Musk Grimes Kim Kardashian Kanye West

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