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Ava DuVernay Thanks Nipsey Hussle’s Estate for Allowing Her to Use Rapper’s Music Two Weeks After His Murder

Ava DuVernay issued a big thank you to Nipsey Hussle‘s estate for allowing her to use the late rapper’s song “Picture Me Rollin” for her limited Netflix series “When They See Us.”

The critically acclaimed series tells the real life story of Yusef Salaam, Kevin Richardson, Raymond Santana, Korey Wise and Antron McCray, collectively known as the Central Park Five.

Ava DuVernay (left) thanked the estate of Nipsey Hussle (right) for allowing her to use his music for her Netflix film “When They See Us.” (Photos: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images, Randy Shropshire/Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images)

In 1989 the then-teenagers were falsely accused of raping a woman inside the famous Manhattan park, and they spent time in prison ranging from 6 to 12 years before being released.

Netflix began streaming “When They See Us” on May 31, shortly after Hussle was shot and killed in South Angeles. And on the heels of the tragedy, his team still allowed DuVernay to use his music.

“‘For WHEN THEY SEE US,’ I wanted Nipsey’s voice to blanket the end credits and close the five-hour film,” she tweeted on Sunday. “His estate gave me approval during a very hard time for them, with no monetary gain, just two weeks after his passing. A massive gift. Forever grateful.”

In a separate tweet, the award-winning director detailed the payment structure for Hussle’s song and explained the difference between paying a standard licensing fee and receiving money on the back end. It was after someone asked her why she was proud of not paying Hussle’s people.

“Monetary gain and standard fees are two different things in the licensing world,” DuVernay explained. “Of course, the standard was paid. But the estate wasn’t concerned with gains in that moment. We all wanted to honor his legacy and have his words echo. Their gift to all of us.”

Hussle was murdered on March 31 in front of his store The Marathon Clothing. And just two days later, a man named Eric Holder was arrested in Bellflower, California, as a suspect, and he was locked up and held on a $7 million bond.

He’s already pleaded not guilty to one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

At one time, Holder was represented by the attorney Christopher Darden, who sat on the prosecution team in 1995 for O.J. Simpson‘s double-murder trial. But Darden later removed himself from the case after receiving death threats.

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