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Nas Speaks On Discovering His Ancestry Via PBS Series "Finding Your Roots"

(AllHipHop News) Throughout his career Nas has used his music to explore and present historical information he felt was relevant to his listeners, so it’s not surprising the Queens emcee took advantage of the opportunity to learn more about his own family history.

[ALSO READ: Fashawn Discusses “The Ecology” LP, Getting Aloe Blacc To Rap & Chatting With Nas About “Ode To Illmatic”]

Nas was able to accomplish that personal reflection thanks to the PBS series Finding Your Roots. The show’s host and executive producer, Henry Louis Gates Jr. of Harvard University, tapped Nas to become the first Hip Hop star to be featured on the program.

The experience greatly affected Nas. He spoke at a panel discussion about one particular moment when he saw 1859 papers showing one of his ancestors was sold as a slave.

“First I was enraged when I looked at the bill of sale,” said Nas. “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.”

As Nas and Gates use Finding Your Roots to take a look back at the past, but both men are also actively involved in building Hip Hop culture’s future. The Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellowship is a key part of the Hiphop Archive and Research Institute at Harvard’s Du Bois Institute.

“Nas is a true visionary, and he consistently shows how boundaries can be pushed and expanded to further the cause of education and knowledge. The work of the Du Bois Institute is enriched by the addition of the Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellowship,” stated Gates.

[ALSO READ: Harvard Hiphop Archive Gets New Funding]

The 10-part season 2 of Finding Your Roots debuts on PBS on September 23. For more information visit pbs.org. Watch a preview below.

  • The_Good_Life

    Henry Louis is a great historian. The 6 part documentary he did on Latin America and the Caribbean’s African roots is incredible. That’s also on PBS. Its a must see for all the Latin brothers and sisters who embrace their African roots, but also for the ones who deny it.

    • Carlos

      Ima check that out, good look.

      • The_Good_Life

        No problem…

    • PorchBoySlim

      Yea I watched it on youtube. It’s crazy how some latinos try to deny their African roots though. Especially Dominicans.

      • Markus

        Telling some Dominicans that their heritage begins in Africa or even mentioning that their neighbors in Haiti have more in common with them historically than they’ll admit is considered blasphemy.

      • The_Good_Life

        The darker the heavier the stigma. Thruth is its everywhere though.

      • TheAfroRican

        As an Afro-Rican, I’m proud of Tego Calderon. He actually accepts his African ancestry. Dude actually stopped rocking diamonds after a visit to Africa.

    • TheAfroRican

      Great series. I never knew they were Afro-Mexicans that ever existed

  • The Legendary Troll

    If we could track down every white person who enslaved our ancestors and demand cash we’d all be well off

    • regalpimp

      Never happen homie….

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  • MadRespect06

    Yo I’m inspired. I need to find my roots.

  • Markus

    This is a journey that a lot of young dudes should embark upon. Perhaps if they find out specifically for themselves where their families’ foundations began, maybe with that new found perspective they can be more focused in where they go from there.

  • STFUUIgnants

    African Ancestry traced my dna back to Nigeria on my mother’s side. Turns out I share dna with the Hausa, Fulani and Yoruba tribes. Doing my father’s side next.

    • Tasia C.

      I did the same thing and my maternal line shared the same DNA as the Yoruba and Hausa people as well.

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  • Black

    My heritage is lIberian,I found out watching the other “Finding Your Roots” specials that Maya Angelou & Oprah Winfrey were from Liberia too

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