20 years.

It’s been two decades since hip hop lost two of it’s biggest stars and their slayings continue to go unsolved. Enter USA Networks- who’s had massive success with it’s true crime series, is now tackling Tupac and Notorious BIG murders in a scripted limited series. The USA series tackles a different- and refreshing perspective on the controversial mysteries, chronicling the dual police investigations of Detective Greg Kading (Josh Duhamel) and Detective Russell Poole (Jimmi Simpson) and focusing on the pair’s complicated friendship. Bokeem Woodbine also stars as Officer Daryn Dupree.
Marcc Rose, who plays Tupac Shakur, will reprise his cameo as the west coast rapper from 2015’s blockbuster Straight Outta Compton and Wavyy Jonez plays the “Juicy” rapper. Primarily based in Los Angeles, the show travels behind the headlines and conspiracy theories of the cold cases, taking an in-depth look into the culture that defined them and provide fans with new information they did not previously know about their premature deaths.

Marcc Rose as Tupac and Wavyy Jonez and Biggie – “Unsolved”

Directed by Emmy Winner Anthony Hemingway, fresh off the the wildly powerful and award winning series “The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” the series will dissect the icon’s murders, which were in 6 months of each other.
The Source caught up with Marcc and Wavyy as they talked about their roles, what they think the icons would think of hip hop evolution and more.

What questions will Unsolved address that the public doesn’t already know? 

Marcc: A few questions “Unsolved” will address are: What actually went down during the investigation of these two murders? Did Voletta Wallace actually sue the LAPD? How did their deaths affect their families and the people around them? Hip hop fans will be enlightened by the amount of information we managed to include in each episode.

How will hip hop fans be enlightened?

Wavvy: HIP HOP FANS WILL NOT ONLY BE HIP TO THE ACTUAL FRIENDSHIP TUPAC AND BIGGIE HAD BUT ABOUT THE THOROUGH INVESTIGATION BEHIND THE SCENES TO THE MADNESS OF US LOSING TWO OF THE CULTURES GREATEST ICONS

It’s been two decades since the their deaths. Why hasn’t these cases- as high profile as they are, have yet been solved?

Wavyy: I WOULD SAY FEAR PLAYED A GREAT PART IN THAT, TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS NO ONE REALLY KNEW THE FORCE THEY WERE UP AGAINST OR WHO REALLY WAS ON WHAT SIDE.. THIS CASE HAD A LOT OF UPS AND DOWNS THAT THE VIEWERS WILL HAVE A CHANCE TO SEE IN “UNSOLVED.”

Marcc: Well unfortunately most of the people who testified/were involved back in the day are either dead or in jail. Detectives have also been removed from cases so you can only imagine.

Bokeem Woodbine and Josh Duhamel

How thin was the line between adding fiction- for entertainment purposes, and fact?

Wavyy: VERY THIN. OUR CREATOR AND WRITER KYLE LONG WAS VERY INVESTED IN THE JUSTIFICATION OF THIS CASE AS WELL AS OUR GREAT DIRECTOR ANTHONY HEMINGWAY IN REALLY NAILING THE STORY TELLING OF WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPEN TO THESE GUYS. NOT MUCH FICTIONALIZATION TO PURE HEARTS WITH A TRUE PASSION TO BRING CLOSURE TO THIS PARTICULAR CASE.

Marcc: Very, very thin! So thin that you would think majority of it is fictional. There’s one scene in the pilot where Pac and Big were running around playing with guns in a backyard. Even I thought it didn’t happen because at the time they were so young. But sure enough it happened! You’ll be surprised.

How did you prepare for your roles?

Wavyy: I HAD ALWAYS BEEN A B.I.G FAN SO PREPARING FOR THE ROLE WAS REALLY FUN WATCHING GETTING TO KNOW HOW HE LOOKED AT PEOPLE AND STUDYING NOT ONLY THE BIGGIE I KNEW BUT THE CHRISTOPHER WALLACE I DIDN’T KNOW. I ALSO HAD AN AMAZING ACTING COACH, BROOKLYN MCLINN, THAT REALLY WORKED WITH ME IN CAPTURING THE ESSENCE AS WELL AS TALKING TO EASY MO BEE WHO PERSONALLY KNEW PAC AND BIG.

Marcc: Honestly, PAC has a great amount of footage online, so I started there first! I watched the way he moved, his mannerisms, his expressions. I also read the books he read (“The Art of War” by Sun Tzu). His brother Mopreme Shakur was on set day in and day out making sure things stayed authentic and true. My director Anthony Hemingway gave me so much insight it literally felt like the pressure was stripped! I was able to zone in.

What’s your personal favorite Tupac and Biggie track?

Wavyy: “UNBELIEVABLE” FOR BIGGIE AND “THUGS MANSION” FOR TUPAC.

Marcc: My favorite Biggie track would have to be “Juicy.” I’m from Brooklyn NY myself so when I hear “Juicy” play through the speakers I go crazy. It’s like the home anthem. My favorite Pac track would have to be “Keep Ya Head Up” because of the message he gave. ‘Til this day that song speaks to people of all color and all races-powerful.

Notorious BIG and Tupac

What do you think Tupac and Biggie would think of hip hop of today?

Wavvy: I WOULD HOPE THEY WOULD HAVE KEPT THAT STRUCTURE BUT WHO KNOWS, HIP HOP WORKS IN AN ODD FORM. A LOT MORE THINGS ARE ACCEPTABLE NOW THAN IT WAS BACK THEN.

Marcc: I think they’d honestly be on top of the game right now. Hip Hop has changed so much over the years I don’t think they’d rock with most of the music that gets played on radio today. There aren’t messages being told the way they used to anymore. I feel they would’ve changed that.

How do you expect the audience to receive the series?

Wavvy: I WOULD HOPE THEY TAKE AWAY FROM THIS SERIES THAT TUPAC AND B.I.G WERE GENUINE FRIENDS AS WELL THE THOROUGH INVESTIGATION PEOPLE DON’T TALK ABOUT; HOW HAVING PEOPLE IN YOUR EAR CAN REALLY TWIST YOUR MIND UP AND LEAVE NOTHING UNSAID WITH THE ONES THEY LOVE.

What were the challenges in filming the series?

Wavyy: WELL GREATNESS CAN OFTEN BE IMITATED BUT NOT DUPLICATED AND OFTEN A DUPLICATION IS WHAT PEOPLE WANT AND LOOK FOR AND I WANTED TO GIVE THE BEST PERFORMANCE I COULD. I ALSO PRAYED ABOUT REALLY GETTING INTO THE MIND OF BIGGIE.  I AM COMPLETELY SATISFIED IN THE WORK I DID IN UNSOLVED.

Marcc: One of the biggest challenges of filming the series had to have been reenacting the death scene in Vegas. We flew to Vegas and literally went through moment for moment. Just being in the moment, sitting in the passenger seat of the car, looking out the window of a shattered dash board as people looked on, on such a public busy street- it was crazy! I literally had to take a minute before finishing the scene.

Wavyy Jonez, Bokeem Woodbine, Marcc Rose

What’s your most memorable scene you filmed and why?

Wavyy: MY MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT IS BEING IN THE CLUB TELLING MY BRO MARCC ROSE (TUPAC) NOT TO MESS WITH HAITIAN JACK (DONALD FAISON) AND JIMMY HENCHMEN (WOODY MCCLAIN) BECAUSE THEY WERE BAD NEWS AND THAT PARTICULAR EPISODE WAS BEING DIRECTED BY ERNEST DICKERSON AND MARCC KEPT SWITCHING HIS WORDS AND MAKING ME LAUGH TO WHERE WE HAD TO STOP BECAUSE EVERYBODY STARTED LAUGHING. IT WAS HILARIOUS!!!!

Marcc: The most memorable scene I filmed was the first episode. For me it was exciting to see the friendship between these two dudes. In the past, the media had a field day with exploring the East Coast West Coast beef. Not a lot of people knew the extent of their friendship. Now they will!

“Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G.” premieres Feb. 27 at 10 p.m. ET on USA Network.