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What happened to Tupac and Biggie? USA Network hopes to find out

Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G.
USA Network has ordered a pilot for “Unsolved,” a series exploring the murders of rappers Tupac Shakur, left, and Biggie Smalls.
(From left: Frank Wiese / Associated Press; Lori Shepler / The LA Times)

“The People v. O.J. Simpson” vet Anthony Hemingway and the USA Network will soon reopen another infamous true-crime case from the 1990s.

The still-unsolved murders of rappers Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. (born Christopher Wallace, and also known as Biggie Smalls) will be explored in a scripted series called, appropriately, “Unsolved.”

USA announced the pilot pickup on Thursday.

The hitmaking MCs were embroiled in a long-running coastal rivalry when Shakur was gunned down in Las Vegas in 1996. Wallace met a similar fate less than a year later, when he was killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. Some two decades later, both cases remain a mystery.

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According to the USA announcement, “Unsolved” will be directed and executive produced by Hemingway, who picked up an Emmy for his “People v. O.J.” work. Kyle Long, a veteran of USA’s “Suits,” is writing the script, which will be based on LAPD Det. Greg Kading’s book “Murder Rap: The Untold Story of the Biggie Smalls & Tupac Shakur Murder Investigations.” Kading will also serve as a consultant on the pilot. 

The lives and deaths of the music stars have long fascinated fans and inspired endless speculation and conspiracy theories. Smalls was the subject of the 2009 biopic “Notorious,” while Shakur’s life story will be told in the upcoming film “All Eyez on Me.” Nick Broomfield’s 2002 documentary “Biggie & Tupac” also explored their deaths and legacies.

Meanwhile, Open Road Films is planning “Labyrinth,” set to star Johnny Depp as LAPD Det. Russell Poole, who investigated both murders and suggested the idea that record mogul Marion “Suge” Knight was a key player in the death of Smalls.

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