Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G. premiered February 27th on USA.
By Ariba Bhuvad
When I found out I would be reviewing a show that seeks to narrate the mystery behind the murders of the two of the most infamous rappers of my generation, I was stoked. Luckily as I sat and watched the series, I was not disappointed in the least bit. Unsolved dives deep into the one of the biggest mysteries of the 90’s- who killed Tupac and Biggie? The show takes a unique approach to unraveling this story by going back and forth between the show’s present time and flashbacks. Detectives Greg Kading (Josh Duhamel) and Daryn Dupree (Bokeem Woodbine) are the officials in the present revisiting Biggie’s case in 2006–nearly a decade after it happens. In the past, the series depicts the investigation that takes a month after the shooting, with Detectives Russell Poole (Jimmi Simpson) and Fred Miller (Jamie McShane) leading it. Not only do the flashbacks show the investigation, but take us even further back to give us insight into the lives of Tupac and Biggie, as friends and enemies.
The cast of Unsolved is unbelievable, and is the sole reason to tune into the show. I was taken aback at how perfectly they placed each actor into their individual role. The actors playing the roles of Tupac (Marcc Rose) and Biggie (Wavyy Jonez) are next-level dopplegangers of the rappers they are mimicking. This captures the notice of the audience because you are completely consumed by the insane attention to detail in every aspect of the story. I particularly enjoy the overall gloom and doom of the series with the use of gray and somber tones in each scene. It really helps me connect with the sad premise of the series and left me wanting to watch more episodes. One of the stand-out aspects of this series is their ability to weave the past into the plot intricately and seamlessly – including the actual footage that went along with some of the scenes. The show does a good job of reminding you while this is not a documentary, there is still an immense amount of truth associated with the story it’s telling. They incorporate the real-life events and moments of that time and turn it on its head to produce some amazing storytelling. It is extremely vital to mention that the most interesting and captivating thing about the series was the use of camera angles. In many scenes, the camera would rotate and circle around each character, adding a personal touch and another layer of intimacy between the show and the audience.
I am extremely happy that a show has finally been made that really helps us understand what exactly went down those sad, horrifying days in which Tupac and Biggie passed away. It has been a long-standing mystery that still looks to be solved but has never been able to come to a conclusion. Unsolved aims to help the audience process that mystery by providing as much fact and insight as possible into the lives of Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac. It does a superb job of maintaining the drama, telling the story, and pulling the audience into the center of it all. Unsolved is high on my list of recommendations, and is worth checking out especially if you are fan of Biggie and Tupac.
I give Unsolved an A-.