He’s the first rapper that traced his family tree through the PBS series

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When rapper Nas was invited on the PBS series, “Finding Your Roots” with Dr. Henry Louis Gates, he received a wonderful surprise, a surprise that will stay with him forever.

He saw an 1859 documentation of an ancestor—-his third great-grandmother Pocahontas being sold to a Southern slaveholder.


“First I was enraged when I looked at it,” 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.”

Nas thought he would never know anything about his family’s past, “I was willing to just accept that because I had no way of finding out,” he said.

Furthermore, this procedure is quite simple. Each person begins with DNA testing of a saliva sample that later revealed their family history.  For the ones that are getting tested, it can be nerve wrecking but yet exciting at the same time. But as for Gates, it’s usually a different experience, “I feel like Santa Claus giving people a gift,” he said.

The Queens rapper on the other hand, was baffled after watching the documentary.

So when I saw the bill of sale, I had to stop and deal with that for a moment. This is a sale of a human being. This was business here in this country.

Nas was asked if he will incorporate any of his newfound information into his music, but that “will probably happen on its own. I cannot disappoint these ancestors now. I have to represent,” he said.

Yet, he couldn’t help but to speculate a little about his third great grandmother.

“Just finding out her name was Pocahontas, it made me wonder what she looked like,” he said. “She had to be hot.”


“Finding Your Roots” resumes on September 23rd.



Sherley Boursiquot—@sherleybee_


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