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Why USA’s Tupac and Biggie Series Doesn’t Have Tupac and Biggie Music

TCA 2018: Here’s a long way of saying producers don’t have the rights

There’s just one thing missing from USA Network’s “Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac & the Notorious B.I.G.” — the music of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G.

What’s up with that? Well, here’s just a palatable snippet of what was a super-longwinded answer:

“The music that you hear in the pilot is more inspired by the era,” co-producer and music supervisor Lyan Beth LeFlore said at the Television Critics Association press tour on Tuesday. “We pay homage to … Biggie and Tupac and their legacies, what they mean as cultural icons of hip-hop.”

In other words, they don’t have the rights.

“What we are doing is respecting the estates,” LeFlore said, with executive producer and creator Kyle Long, noting that even projects not related to the deaths of the two rappers have a difficult time securing the rights to their music.

“There’s still a lot of pain with both of those stories … [But] we are still pursuing [the music rights],” LeFlore added.

“We are very authentic with our approach to recreating and capturing the soundtrack of Biggie and Tupac,” she said, adding that she and executive music producer Harvey Mason Jr. are working with several producers and songwriters of the era to re-create its sound faithfully. “We’re really capturing the East and West Coast sounds in this show.”

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