But what's it all worth, can't take it with you under this Earth
Rich men died and tried, but none of it worked
They just rob your grave,
Nas alludes to the Egyptian tomb theme on the album cover by referencing the Egyptian’s belief that burying treasure with you allows you to take it into the afterlife. Nas is saying that this doesn’t work, and that you’ll just get your grave robbed, sucker!
Indeed almost all of the graves of Pharaohs in ancient Egypt were looted, even pyramids were broken into. That’s why such a fuss was kicked about the tomb of King Tutankhamun — finally a grave was found which was untouched by thieves. This is Nas’s way of showing that any wealth of possessions accumulated in this life will not benefit you in the next, but rather enrich other people once you die.
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