Although Nas is a veteran MC at this stage of the game, he still has lots to learn. The Queensbridge artist appeared on the PBS series Finding Your Roots, and discovered plenty regarding his family’s history.
In its second season, Finding Your Roots, hosted by Harvard University scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., takes its celebrity guests on a trip to the past using DNA testing to reveal to the stars their ancestry. In a panel discussion on Wednesday, Nas spoke about what it was like to learn more about his family tree as reported by the Associated Press.
From the AP:
When Nas became the first rapper invited to trace his family tree through the PBS series “Finding Your Roots,” he welcomed the opportunity.
But it hit him hard when he saw 1859 documentation of an ancestor being sold as a slave, he said during a panel discussion Wednesday.
“First I was enraged when I looked at the bill of sale,” Nas said. “I was like, that guy that owned property owes me some cash. My people made him really wealthy, so maybe I should find his family and talk.”
Joining Nas at the panel discussion as part of the Television Critics Association Press Tour event in Beverley Hills, Ca. were actor Courtney Vance, actress Khandi Alexander, author Anna Deavere Smith, and Gates as well.
Nas says he intends to dig even deeper, but doesn’t have plans to include his discovery in his music.
The second season of Finding Your Roots debuts on PBS Sept. 23. View the preview for the show here.
Photo: Ivan Nikolov/WENN