Soledad O’Brien and Ice-T are set to host an investigative special for Fox that will explore the deaths of legendary rappers Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur, the network announced Friday.
Titled “Who Shot Biggie & Tupac?,” the two-hour special will explore the details surrounding the cases of the rap rivals and former friends who were gunned down within months of each other in the late 1990s. Shakur was fatally shot in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas on September 13, 1996. Smalls, born Christopher George Latore Wallace, was killed by an unknown assailant in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles on March 9, 1997. It has been 20 years since their murders, and no one has been held accountable.
The special, produced by “The Case Of: JonBenét Ramsey” producers Critical Content, will lead viewers through an investigation re-examining the homicides by uncovering new details and revealing never-before-heard accounts. The special will feature interviews with former private investigators, police officers, informants and hip-hop insiders, including Doug E Fresh, Funkmaster Flex and former Death Row Records executive Suge Knight. For the first time ever, the best friends of Tupac and Biggie – Lil’ Cease and E.D.I. Mean – will reunite on camera to talk about the friendship between the two rappers, their untimely deaths and the East Coast/West Coast fallout. Additionally, an exclusive, never-before-released audio recording of Biggie talking about the shooting of Tupac will be unveiled. It is set to air on Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox.
The special is produced by Critical Content. Tom Forman, Ice-T, O’Brien, David Metzler, Jon Beyer, Brad Bishop and Jorge Hinojosa will serve as executive producers.
This is the latest recent TV project to explore the lives and deaths of Smalls and Shakur. A&E is set to air “Biggie: The Life of Notorious B.I.G.” in September. Meanwhile, USA Network is prepping “Unsolved,” a scripted true crime series that is based on the experiences of former LAPD Detective Greg Kading, who led multiple law-enforcement task forces investigating the murders. In addition, Johnny Depp and Forest Whitaker are currently attached to star in the film “LAbyrinth,” which will also follow the police investigations.
Ice-T first came onto the music scene rapping in the 1984 feature film “Breakin’.” From there, he went on to become a rap superstar and pioneer, writing songs such as “Six in the Mornin” and “New Jack Hustler.” In 1989, he formed Rhyme Syndicate Records and released a string of groundbreaking West Coast rap records. With close high school friend and guitarist Ernie C, Ice-T subsequently formed the thrash metal band Body Count, whose 1991 self-titled debut contained the controversial single “Cop Killer.” As an actor, Ice-T has appeared in multiple films, including “New Jack City,” “Ricochet,” “Trespass” and “Johnny Mnemonic.” For the past 19 seasons, he has starred in “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” as Detective Odafin Tutuola. He also starred in the reality series “Ice Loves Coco,” with his wife, Coco. Additionally, he has published three books: “The Ice Opinion,” “Ice: A Memoir of Gangster Life and Redemption – from South Central to Hollywood” and the fictional work “Kings of Vice.” Earlier this year, he released a new Body Count album.
O’Brien is an award-winning documentarian, journalist, speaker, author and philanthropist. She is CEO of the Starfish Media Group, a multi-platform media production and distribution company. She anchors and produces the political magazine program “Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien,” reports for “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” regularly contributes to “PBS NewsHour” and WebMD, and serves as host and executive producer of the cable series “Mysteries and Scandals.” Earlier in her career, O’Brien co-anchored “Weekend Today”, and reported for the “Today” show and “NBC Nightly News.” In 2003, O’Brien transitioned to CNN, where she was the face of CNN’s morning news shows for many years. She also anchored the CNN documentary unit, where she created the “In America” documentary series. “Black in America” and “Latino in America” continue to be produced under Starfish Media Group and are subjects of an annual speaking tour. In 2016, her critically acclaimed documentary film, “The Way Comes Home,” was released and distributed to more than 350 theaters in the U.S. O’Brien has been recognized with three Emmy Awards for her coverage of the Haiti earthquake, the 2012 election and for a series called “Kids and Race.” She was honored twice with the George Foster Peabody Award for her coverage of Hurricane Katrina and for her reporting on the BP Gulf Coast Oil Spill.