During Tuesday's episode of PBS' documentary series "Finding Your Roots," rapper Nas was shown a devastating document from the past: a paper receipt for an ancestor's sale into slavery.
Sitting opposite the show's host, scholar and filmmaker Henry Louis Gates, Nas flipped through a book of documents and photos related to his predecessors. Among them was an 1859 bill of sale announcing the sale of his great-great-great-grandmother, Pocahontas, to a Virginia landowner when she was around 15 years old.
"A receipt for a human being," Nas responded with an exhale.
The Queens-bred rapper then learned Pocahontas' owner, Benjamin Franklin Little, paid less than a thousand dollars.
"They paid $830 for my great-great-great-grandma?" Nas said, stunned. "I got more than that in my pocket right now... This is painful, now. To see that, that hurts."
The two then looked at a photo of Little, who according to Gates owned six of Nas' third grandparents.
"This is the face my ancestors looked at every day," Nas said. "Now I'm looking into their world."
Watch more of Nas discovering details of his ancestry in the video segment above.