Nas is uncovering his past for the second season of the PBS series Finding Your Roots.
Hosted by Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the show finds the Queens rapper tracing his ancestry decades ago. At a panel discussion on Wednesday (July 23), Nas discussed how he felt when he saw documentation from 1859 for one of his ancestors being sold as a slave.
“First I was enraged when I looked at the bill of sale,” he said. “I was like, the guy that owned property owes me some cash. My people made him really wealthy, so maybe I should find his family and talk.”
The Illmatic scribe was also able to put a face to the name as he looked at a portrait of his ancestor’s slave owner. “This is the face my ancestors looked at everyday,” he started, “And now I’m looking into their world.”
The 10-part series, which will also include Ben Affleck, Jessica Alba, Tina Fey, Stephen King, and Derek Jeter, will air on Sept. 23 at 8pm on PBS.