Nas Reacts To His Third-Great Grandmother’s Bill Of Sale Into Slavery (Video)
As part of PBS’ “Enslaved Roots” series, the camera turns its lens on Nas. The Queens superstar traces his DNA back to a Virginia slave plantation. Throughout his career, Nas has paid close attention to his ancestry, and African bloodline. The continent is a place that the iconic MC has devoted verses to, on seminal singles like 1996’s “If I Ruled The World” and 2010’s Distant Relatives album with Damian Marley.
Additionally, Heads know that family is especially meaningful to Nasir Jones, after working with his father, Charles “Olu Dara” Jones III, on a number of songs, and dedicating others to his late mother, Fannie Ann Jones, and his daughter, Destiny Jones.
In the three-minute video with Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr, Nas discovers and touches the 1859 bill of sale, for his third-great grandmother. Emotional to the terms of the contract, Nas admits that he has more in his pocket at that moment, than the life of his bloodline was valued at approximately 150 years ago. Nas explains, “This is painful. This hurts.”
Nas confronts the image of the Virginia plantation owner who owned several of his great grandparents. Although the structure of the house burned 50 years ago, Nas powerfully reacts, “I’m thinkin’ about buying that land.”
Watch below, at one of the most moving pieces of television one can find: