Notorious BIG and Tupac Shakur are two of the most iconic names in not only the hip-hop industry, but in the music world in general. The two rappers started as peers in the scene, but then became pitted against each other in an East Coast versus West Coast battle royale that would, in a way, cost each of them their lives. And now, the two men are receiving a scripted true crimes show based on each of their unsolved murders, tentatively called Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and Biggie.
The news of the show was released late in 2016, but now we know who will be playing two of the biggest names in rap. First, there is Marcc Rose, who will play Tupac, who was shot and killed in 1996 while driving through Las Vegas. He died days later, on September 13, from the wounds he endured. He was only 25. You may recognize Rose because he has already played the late rapper and poet in the 2015 hit movie Straight Outta Compton. However, he was not the only one to portray Tupac — another actor, Darris Love, was cast to record the rap scenes in the film, CinemaBlend reports, because Rose, 24, did not sound enough like the talented wordsmith to accurately portray his voice on film. I guess he's gotten some more practice for this upcoming role (or we can expect another name to be given credit on IMDb for those scenes).
As far as Biggie's role, USA enlisted a fresh face to play the East Coast legend, a new actor named Wavvy Jonez. Biggie (who also went by Notorious BIG and Biggie Smalls in addition to his birth name: Christopher Wallace) was just as prominent in the '90s rap game as Tupac. Jonez was chosen to play the lead role after sending in a video audition in response to an open casting call for the part. Unlike Rose, Jonez is a rapper in real life and has a mixtape titled, "R.E.D. D.O.P.E." which stands for Real Everyday Drama Doing Over People’s Expectation.
Notorious BIG was even younger than Tupac when he was shot and killed while driving in Los Angeles just six months after Tupac's death. Like Tupac, Biggie's death is still unsolved and much speculated over, thus the popularity of the topic. (There have been many other projects looking into the untimely deaths of both artists.)
In addition to our title lead characters, there are a few other familiar Hollywood names who will be appearing in the series, like Westworld's Jimmi Simpson, who will play Detective Russsell Poole; Las Vegas' Josh Duhamel as Detective Greg Kading; and FX Fargo's Bokeen Woodbine as Officer Daryn Dupree. The series will be directed by Emmy-winning director Anthony Hemingway, who is responsible for the stand-out 2016 series, The People v. O.J. Simpson. The drama will be based on the book Murder Rap: The Untold Story of Biggie Smalls & Tupac Shakur Murder Investigations, which recounts the investigation around the murders and was written by Duhamel's character in real life.
No release date has been set yet, but we can't wait to tune in.