The late rapper Tupac Shakur may just be on his way to pulling off one of the greatest comebacks in music history: successfully coming back from the dead. A realistic yet haunting hologram of Tupac graced the stage with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre this weekend at the Coachella music festival in California, which closed out the first weekend of the massive music festival. Thanks to incredible digital technology, fans got to experience something that hasn’t happened in over 15 years — a live performance by the gangsta rap legend himself, Tupac.
Tupac greeted the massive crowd with a, “What up, Coachella?” before launching into his classic hit, ‘Hail Mary.’ The hologram performance has raised questions surrounding technology and live performance — will people want to pay tons of money for a solo hologram performance by a dead artist, or would they like to just keep them as special guests? (continued below)
The dead rapper was basically the only thing left which could top the all-star set from Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg, with special guests Eminem, 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar, Warren G and Wiz Khalifa; and it was all Dr. Dre’s idea.
“We worked with Dr. Dre on this and it was Dre’s vision to bring this back to life,” said Nick Smith, president of AV Concepts, the San Diego company that created the hologram. “It was his idea from the very beginning and we worked with him and his camp to utilize the technology to make it come to life.”
Smith wasn’t able to comment about the creative aspects of the production, but did say that his company has the ability to recreate long dead figures and visually recreate them in the studio. “You can take their likenesses and voice and … take people that haven’t done concerts before or perform music they haven’t sung and digitally recreate it,” said Nick Smith. Would it help live performance sales to bring dead musicians back to life? Whether you’re for it or against it, seeing Tupac perform ‘live’ — as a hologram — is something truly amazing.
Watch the video below for a behind the scenes look at the technology used to create this type of hologram: