It feels apt to start writing this when there are only a couple episodes of Unsolved: The Murders of Biggie Smalls & Tupac and I’ve been watching it almost religiously every Tuesday night at 10/9 Central on USA. If you’ve been living under a rock somehow for the past 20 years or have still somehow never heard of The Notorious B.I.G. & Tupac, they’re two of the greatest rappers in the 1990’s. They were also both murdered within about a week of each other, both in the prime of their careers, and there has yet to be anybody charged or arrested for their murders. But as with any major celebrity death — especially if it’s murder — there’s plenty of conspiracy theories ranging from Sean ‘P.Diddy/Puffy/Puff Daddy’ Combs or Shug Knight to the LAPD did it.
What I love about this show goes so much further beyond just the nostalgia of the music. Everyone knows I love my 90’s music. But what some people may not know is that not only do Tupac and I share a birthday but he was actually the first rapper that turned me onto hip-hop and that it can actually have a message to it, more so than just what our parents like to tell us. Tupac & Biggie had hits that were about drugs, getting laid, and more, of course, but they also had songs like ‘Dear Mama’ about Tupac’s mother’s battle with addiction and trying to raise two children or ‘Mo Money Mo Problems’ that is basically The Notorious B.I.G. saying that even when you have more money, problems still don’t solve themselves.
Anyway, this show is great. It’s a little superficial at times because TV shows always want to keep viewers coming back for more next week. But there is a lot of information that I had no idea about. Granted, I was 7 or 8 living abroad when they were murdered and hip-hop definitely wasn’t something that was regularly played in our house growing up. The show has three plot lines that continually play throughout the show — one being the original investigation by the LAPD into Biggie Smalls and LVPD into Tupac, another about how Biggie & Tupac went from being friends to the forerunners of East & West hip-hop, and another into the 2007 LAPD investigation after a lawsuit from Biggie’s mother. I didn’t think having three revolving plotlines would work well but somehow it does. It gives a lot of great background information on the Tupac/Biggie ‘beef’ as well as the investigation both originally and when it was reopened.
I’m sure it’s obvious but I’m a sucker for crime dramas, especially when it’s about something I really want to learn more about. My boyfriend and I have been watching this show weekly and there are only 2-3 shows left. Though obviously, I know it results in neither investigation finding out who really killed these infamous rappers but it’s fascinating to learn about potential suspects, how deep the conspiracy theories went, and gain insight into the rappers’ lives as well.
If you haven’t watched this show, you can stream it on Hulu, the USA app, or online. But it’s super interesting and you get an awesome soundtrack. Plus, most of the cast (save for the dude playing P. Diddy) looks similar to who they’re supposed to be playing.