Nas Will Trace His Ancestry On The PBS Series ‘Finding Your Roots’
Sometimes it could be Eric B, Supreme Magnetic from Fort Greene, and a lot of other sketchy characters that I wasn't very familiar with. But for the most part it would really be and the engineer at the time and Large Professor, and a friend or two of mine would come in, like my boy Wiz. A lot of my boys wouldn't leave the block, and I knew not to bring my crowd around that crowd, 'cause I didn't know how to mix with B, and it was like, I came here to do business, and I didn't wanna scare anybody away too early bringing an entourage. I just knew I was grateful that Large Professor would call me to come down to the studio, so I tried to just go by myself most of the time.
You wound up changing up the lyrics by the time the album came out, right?
No, what we were working on was these songs that were lost. We were working on these 2 inch reels in the studio—we were working on the album, we just didn't realize it. It was really me warming up, working in the studio, but at the end of the day it was an album, a pre-Illmatic album, that was just lost. Gone. No signs of it, it's gone. We did "It Ain't Hard To Tell" in Large Professor's apartment in Flushing, Queens. The first version. That was the first version that Faith got from MC Serch. Once I got the deal, we was ready to roll, we was ready to rock out. I could go and get my own sessions at my own big studios. And at that point, I wanted to work at Power Play, but it was going out of business; the energy was lost, everybody was over Power Play. So we wound up going to Chung King, House of Metal and a few other spots in the city.
Update (Oct. 28, 6 p.m.): Here is the episode of Nas on PBS Series Finding Your Roots.
Nas has always been conscious of the history of black men and women in America and often uses it as subject matter in his rhymes. This fall, God's Son will sit down with Harvard University's Henry Louis Gates Jr. on the PBS show Finding Your Roots to trace back his family's lineage. During the history lesson, it is revealed to Nas that one of his ancestors was sold as a slave--a moment that unsurprisingly impacts Nas.
"First I was enraged when I looked at the bill of sale," said a distraught 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."
Nasty Nas and Gates Jr. have a previous relationship thanks to The Nasir Jones Hiphop Fellowship, which is a part of Harvard's Du Bois Institute. Season two of Finding Your Roots is scheduled to premiere on September 23rd.