The ghetto experts
Serie. Hip-hop culture and the 90s is at the heart of Unsolved, a TV series about the murders of the two rap stars of the 1990s, Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. Currently on Netflix.
By Clément Levassor
The 90’s are back! On Netflix Everything Sucks teleports the 80’s spirit of John Hugues in the decade of Oasis and Nirvana, the first two seasons of American Crime Story are devoted to OJ Simpson and Gianni Versace … And the platform focuses more particularly on the advent of hip-hop culture during this period. Documentaries on Tupac Shakur or Dr Dre. Biopic of the same Tupac and Notorious B.I.G. And now series on the unresolved murders of the two rappers at six-month intervals with Unsolved : The Murder of Tupac & Notorious Big. Fiction developed for USA Network by Kyle Long (Suits) and broadcast internationally by Netflix.
“promise of in-depth investigations involving three stories from different eras”
Unsolved therefore deserves a glance, with its promise of in-depth investigations involving three stories from different eras intersecting and echoing each other. The rhythm induced by this writing keeps the viewer in suspense, and requires him attention to detail as the series plays the card of complexity and profusion. The biopic part dealing with the relationship between Tupac and Biggie (Marcc Rose and Wavyy Jonez), friends who have become rivals, is pleasant and lively. But hasn’t the harshness and energy of film like Straight Outta Compton or King. Biggie’s murder investigation eyeing her towards Mindhunter or Zodiac even if she lacks a little subtlety.
The paranoid and conspiracyist cop, convinced of the police’s involvement in the two murders being played by a Jimmi Simpson (House of Cards, Under The Silver Lake) still strange but less comfortable than usual.
As for the federal survey in the 2000s, it turns out to be the least interesting segment as it is filmed “in the manner” of average police series like the Experts and, of course, Cold Case which it takes all the codes . That the hottie Josh Duhamel (Las Vegas, Transformer …) is the main investigator only reinforces this impression. Wendell Pierce, the actor of The Wire and Treme, probably chooses to bring a more realistic contrast, inherits a role of bulldozer cop too caricatural to achieve it.
Just as the beating of Rodney Kings, the O.J. Simpson affair, or Mike Tyson’s conviction for rape, the murders of Tupac and Biggie are catalyst events for the violent racial tensions of the 90’s in the United States. The morbid fascination with this modern Shakespearian legend is the true fuel of the series. Notably the character of West Coast godfather Suge Knight, played by the remarkable Domic L. Santana who already held the role in All Eyes on Me, the biopic of Tupac. gray eminence Gangsta rap whose Mike Bloomfield did not hesitate to make the real responsible for both murders in his documentary Biggie & Tupac (2002). This is the character that deserves to be the center of a future Netflix fiction. At the rate where the platform captures the urban culture of the 90s, it can’t be far off.