Nas Teams Up With 'Power' EP To Develop A TV Series About The First-Ever Black International Grandmaster In Chess

The hip-hop legend is showing us that stories like these matter.

Everyone’s favorite rapper, Nas, is expanding his territory into television. The 50-year-old hip-hop legend is developing a TV series about Maurice Ashley, the first-ever Black International Grandmaster in chess. Nas has teamed up with “Power” EP Mark Canton’s Canton Entertainment and Green Hummingbird Entertainment to take on this eight-episode series, which will focus on Ashley’s incredible journey of being Black and making it to the U.S. Chess Hall of Fame. 

Nas told Deadline, “I’m grateful to be part of bringing Maurice Ashley’s incredible life to the screen. His story is one of greatness, and his perseverance will continue to inspire the next generation of thinkers.” 

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“It is not just a story about me, it's about the community of people who have influenced and enriched my life too,” Ashley, the Jamaica-born and Brooklyn-raised chess champion added. “I love the idea of shining a light on the greatness of so many people and what they have done to contribute to my success and success in their own right. It’s a happy story about doing something that no-one expected and taking the road less traveled, which is always exciting for me. I think this is a story that will resonate with a broad audience as it speaks to living your dreams and shocking the world.”

Ashley's inspiring rise through the checkmate ranks led him to become a Grandmaster in 1999. He also founded the Harlem Chess Center and has been a coach to national champions like Harlem’s Raging Rooks and the Dark Knights.

Stories like these matter and getting a superstar like Nas behind it gives those watching more evidence that they do.

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