Publish at November 09 2021 Updated November 19 2021

Rappers' obsession with ancient Egypt

Both the names and the symbols are taken up by the rap world

Those who have never been interested in the rap industry know little about this aspect of the business. Yet, those who are passionate about it know that this world, whether in France or the United States, is filled with references to ancient Egypt. Indeed, whether in the names of rappers (Akhenaten, Khufu, Imhotep, Sekhmet, Nefertiti..) or in the iconography on albums or in music videos, the use of representations of Egyptian gods and goddesses, images of pyramids, hieroglyphs, etc. is common.

How is it that the rap world is so obsessed with this ancient civilization? This Arte vignette sums it up nicely. Questioning rapper Akhenaten, he will admit that his pseudonym was inspired by the outsized grandeur of the era.

However, he will point out that the American milieu was strongly influenced by a Senegalese author, Cheikh Anta Diop, who recalled that the ancestors of the Egyptians, the Nubians were black. Thus, it is therefore a way of asserting his pride in being part of African-Americans.

Length: 4min13

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