Netflix’s new limited series When They See Us is so much more than just a dramatic retelling and depiction of how five young boys between the ages of 14 and 16, Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana Jr., and Korey Wise, were convinced by police to lie and say they attacked and raped a female jogger. Director and executive producer Ava Duvernay takes the viewer inside the world of these boys hours before the assault, during the years they were imprisoned, and months after they were released.
As Duvernay explained on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, she showed the well-known case of the Central Park Jogger while also telling a story that will hopefully have the audience “fully versed in all of the different nooks and crannies it of the criminal justice system.” But it’s not just the actors’ intense performances and the writing that portrays the flaws in our criminal justice system. The songs on When They See Us' soundtrack also take viewers on a journey.
The boys have their youth taken from them, struggle to maintain hope, and are finally freed. The artists on the soundtrack are mostly people of color and their lyrics further emphasize the pain these boys went through after being wrongly convicted. Take a look at some of the songs and artists featured in When They See Us.