On a cool February evening in Hollywood, California, the cast of USA Network’s new limited series Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac And The Notorious B.I.G. assembled at the famous Avalon nightclub for a big red carpet premiere. As the stars made their way from the step-and-repeat into the venue for the night’s main event, we had the chance to speak with them about the show and the cultural impact of two hip hop legends. Here's what we learned from the cast!
Why Is Unsolved Still So Important in 2018?
Jimmi Simpson (Detective Russell Poole): Because we haven't come far enough from sweeping the deaths of two essential young men under the rug.
Kyle Long (Executive Producer): A lot of the things they were rapping about or just talking about are, unfortunately, just as relevant today. It’s a lot of relevant things that could happen today.
Mark Taylor (Executive Producer): I have to echo what Kyle said... It's sad that it's still so relevant today as it was 20 years ago when it all happened. It's a reflection of who we are as a society. To look at the things that have happened within lifetimes that we can remember and determine if that's how we want things to happen going forward. And this is an opportunity for people to ask those questions of themselves as they look at what's going on in the world today.
What is one thing you want people to take away from Unsolved?
Marcc Rose (Tupac Shakur): You will get a chance to remember the humanity between these icons and these celebrities. You know, they're just not in your TV screens. They are humans. They are sons. They are uncles. They are human beings. Another thing I would say is don't leave nothing unsaid. Tupac died when he was 25. I'm 25 years old now. I can't imagine not being able to achieve all the things I wanted to achieve, so with that message, I say, don't leave anything unsaid. If there's a little quarrel that friends have, heal that thing. Heal that thing.
What does Christopher Wallace’s legacy mean to you?
Wavvy Jonez (Christopher ‘Biggie’ Wallace): His contribution to society was his stories. There's a song called "Juicy," and in this story, he basically spoke about wanting to live that dream, wanting to get out of the predicament you're in, go see the world, be able to take care of your people. And he means that -- not only to the world, but to hip hop, because without Biggie we wouldn't be here.
Will the Stories They Told Continue to Endure?
Amirah Vann (FBI Agent Justine Simon): Oh, definitely. I feel like I was lucky to live in that time period. I feel like those rappers and this music are timeless. I was listening to their music this morning, and I was like, "It's still so relevant." They were great artists, and I think it's because they were poets. Their lyrics hold their own even when you separate it from music.
Josh Duhamel (Detective Greg Kading): I think that the words that they spoke were timeless. I always loved the music; I grew up on it. But I didn't really understand it until I started doing my research on it. So it was a learning experience for me. You know, I grew up in North Dakota, but this music penetrated all the way there. And it says something about how huge these two were.