Nas Discovers the Slave Owner Who Purchased His Ancestors

Nas, Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Nas Discovers the Slave Owner Who Purchased His Ancestors

Rapper appears on Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr., sees bill of sale for his great-grandmother three times removed.

Published October 29, 2014

These days when Nas says, "Owe me back," it has a whole new meaning.

Appearing recently on the TV show Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Queensbridge kid-turned-multi-platinum artist not only learned the name of the slave owner who purchased his ancestors, but also saw the bill of sale for exactly how much his third-great-grandmother Pocahontas was worth in 1859.

“They paid $830 for my great-great-great grandma?" asks Nas as he read the "receipt" aloud. The look he gives Professor Gates is priceless. "I’ve got more than that in my pocket right now."

His grandma was "about 14 or 15 years old" at the time of the sale, Gates noted. He then presented Nas with a photo of the plantation where she was held, and a pic of the slave owner, Benjamin Franklin Little.

"See, this is painful now," Nas says. "This is the face that my ancestors looked at every day, the eyes they looked at."

Elsewhere in the clip Nas sees a marriage license of sorts between Pocahontas and his great-great-great grandfather Calvin. "That's amazing," he says.

The full episode, also featuring Angela Bassett and senior advisor to President ObamaValerie Jarrett, is On Demand and airing throughout the week. Watch a clip below.

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(Photo: Finding Your Roots/PBS via

Written by BET-Staff


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