In this summer's trailer for the PBS show "Finding Your Roots," Nas was confronted with a photo of the man who enslaved six of his ancestors. The full episode, which aired this week, is just as remarkable.
In the episode, hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr., Nasty gets to know about his family history and ancestors. The amount of research and detail needed to make that happen is pretty astounding.
At one point, the Queens native is given a ledger of "cotton picked per slave," which was kept by the slave owner, and meticulously recorded how much cotton each slave picked per day -- with numbers as high as 200 pounds.
"It's anger; amazement," he says while reading the document. "This wasn't that long ago."
He was also given the bill of sale for his third great-grandmother, which happened when she was just 15. "This is painful," he says. "To see that, that hurts."
The dark history turns into triumph, though.
The plantation burned down in 1963. "I'm just thinking about buying that land."
"We changed those chains of pain into chains of freedom," he says, holding his own gold chain. "I'm feeling good today, because of Calvin and Pocahontas."