Posted on May 26, 2023

A Nas-Inspired King Tut Statue Sparks Racial Debate at European Museum

Mya Abraham, Vibe, May 25, 2023

Nas has found himself indirectly in the middle of a controversy yet again after a King Tut-inspired statute from his 1999 I Am… album cover sparked a heated debate involving Egyptian culture and Black music.

The Dutch National Museum of Antiquities recently opened an exhibit called “Kemet: Egypt in Hip-Hop, Jazz, Soul and Funk,” but an antiquities expert slammed the museum by claiming it insulted “Egyptian civilization by portraying Tutankhamun as Black.”

Following the complaint, Wim Weijland, the museum’s director, defended the exhibit. “[The Kemet exhibit] does not have an Afrocentric perspective on ancient Egypt” but it does help to “critically examine ideas presented in Black music,” he began, according to ArtNet. “The exhibition does not claim the ancient Egyptians were Black, but explores music by Black artists who refer to ancient Egypt and Nubia in their work: music videos, covers of record albums, photos, and contemporary artworks.”