After ‘Ugly Betty’ star Vanessa Williams explored her ancestry on TLC’s ‘Who Do You Think You Are?‘, rapper Nas takes a similar journey on PBS‘ ‘Finding Your Roots.’
The first rapper to join the series which uses genealogical and genetic research to find the ancestors of American celebrities, Nas‘ journey on the show saw him brought face to face with an unsettling truth he was “enraged” to find.
His discovery below…
While taping his special for the show, the ‘Memory Lane’ rapper unearthed documentation created in 1859, confirming the sale of one of his ancestors as a slave.
First I was enraged when I looked at the bill of sale. 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‘ uncomfortable journey to the past will come as part of ‘Roots‘ second season, set to kickoff on September 3rd and sees him stand as the latest African-American performer to explore their ties to slavery.
In 2006, entertainment mogul Oprah Winfrey used the same methods to trace her lineage back to present day Liberia, while ‘Deep Impact’ star Blair Underwood learned that he had distant cousins living in the Republic of Cameroon, related by ancestor who had been enslaved and transported to the Americas hundreds of years before.