Tupac, Biggie and Jay-Z get multiple Emmy nominations

Rap legends figure prominently at the 2023 Emmy Awards
Tupac, Biggie and Jay-Z get multiple Emmy nominations
Photo source: Bang Media Services

Unmistakable evidence that hip-hop has deeply infiltrated nearly every facet of American culture is increasingly apparent. Fittingly, the genre is taking center stage at the 2023 Primetime Emmy Awards, coinciding with its 50th-anniversary celebration.

Late hip-hop icons Tupac Shakur and Christopher “Notorious B.I.G.” Wallace are once again in the spotlight, reminiscent of their influence during rap’s golden age in the 1990s.

Tupac’s “Dear Mama,” which delves into the activist background of his mother, Afeni Shakur, through her involvement with the Black Panther Party, has secured Emmy nominations for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series and Writing for a Nonfiction Program, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Meanwhile, “The Notorious B.I.G. Sky’s the Limit: A VR Concert Experience,” a virtual reality concert featuring Biggie, has received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Emerging Media Program.

Jay-Z, paralleling Tupac, has garnered two nominations, one of which is for Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series for Rihanna’s record-shattering Super Bowl halftime show.

Director Allen Hughes, perhaps best known for his 90s classic “Menace II Society,” expressed his excitement over being nominated for “Dear Mama.”

“To see that they’re Emmy-nominated in their respective projects is awesome. And it tells you how far we’ve come. It’s a testament to how powerful the genre is and how singular Biggie and Tupac are,” Hughes said.

The Hollywood Reporter also conversed with RCA Records president Mark Pitts. “You never thought that hip-hop would take it this far,” Pitts told the outlet.

“It’s about damn time that hip-hop is recognized,” Pitts continued. “It just makes me feel confident about what we’ve been doing. And it solidifies it. It underlines it.”

If this revered trio of rappers secures wins in their respective categories, they will join the ranks of Queen Latifah, Common, and Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, as Emmy Award winners. Moreover, Jay-Z and Rihanna could become the second consecutive Super Bowl halftime performers to clinch an Emmy, following the 2022 ensemble of Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, and Mary J. Blige.

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