Rapper Nas has risked sparking political controversy after airing his sympathy for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, insisting the dictator is "misunderstood".
Gaddafi has become a figure of hatred after refusing to step down amid civil unrest, violent protests and calls for him to resign from power in the Middle Eastern nation, and many world leaders have imposed sanctions on Libya as a result - in a bid to force the tyrant to listen to his people - but he has found an unlikely ally in I Can hitmaker Nas.
The hip-hop star claims the people of Libya need a revolution, but should be working with Gaddafi to ensure a peaceful future instead of waging war against him.
He tells misformusic.com, "I never saw Gaddafi as an enemy, like a deadly enemy that wanted to harm people for no reason. I kind of see him as someone who is misunderstood.
"I think a revolution in Libya is important and I just hate to see that the people are against (Gaddafi) or he has to be against (them). I hate to see any violence between him and his people, I just don't like that."
And Nas believes the U.S. government should get involved to bring an end to the protests: "I think they could intervene so that there could be peace."
Nas' comments emerge as a host of high-profile artists, including Beyonce, 50 Cent and Usher, have agreed to hand over cash received for staging private performances for members of the Gaddafi clan to charity.