Word Up: Is Tupac Back?

Word Up: Is Tupac Back?

Tupac came to 'life' at Coachella this year, however, is it a good thing? Do we want other deceased artists returning to perform as a hologram?

By now you've probably seen, or at least heard about, the santigold-perform-at-coachella-2012-news.1792.html" target="_blank">Tupac hologram which debuted at Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg's performance at Coachella. It took the internet by storm, and was praised by many; but there is still a sense of hesitancy in accepting that holograms are the 'way of the future.' I don't think I'm alone in saying that I hope that the Tupac hologram doesn't become a regular performer at shows (or other holograms, for that matter).

I can only imagine what it would have been like to be in the audience at Coachella and experience it as it unfolded, because even watching it online was surprising. Noone knew that 'Pac was going to rise from the dead that night, at least in hologram-form. If people had been prepared for it, it may have been less shocking. However, all the news we had leading up to Dre & Snoop's show was that Nate Dogg would appear as a hologram. So, out of nowhere, Tupac rises from the dead, I'm sure a lot of people in the audience were (literally) tripping out.

Besides the shock-factor, Tupac's hologram was also a costly venture. Nick Smith, the president of AV Concepts, the company responsible for projecting Tupac's image on stage, said that a similar project would cost from $100,000 to $400,000. I sincerely hope that this won't become so affordable that 'everybody' is going to start doing it-- another debate circulating the internet the past few days.

The technology behind this is pretty crazy, and it does seem like it would be impressive to see in person, however, there's also a part of me that thinks it's completely strange and unnatural—obviously, because Tupac's dead. Why can't we let him rest in peace? Using the Hologram-Pac once or twice, I can live with that, but Dre & Snoop potentially going on tour with Hologram-Pac? Please don't. I feel like, although they may have good intentions, it's also a way for old heads to stay relevant/in the media, and continue to hold onto the past. The past was dope, I understand, a lot of people miss the '90s era of hip-hop. However, hip-hop is headed in a new direction, and I don't think it's necessarily a bad one... but rap veterans don't always seem so keen on letting young'ns take over. Fair enough. Don't get me wrong though, I think it's really cool that it was a rap show that utilized this technology first, and, on top of that, it was with a legend like Tupac. That just shows how forward thinking hip-hop, as a genre, is. And this is definitely true: hip-hop really is becoming way more ahead of the game, it's setting trends—whether it be in fashion, music, lifestyle etc. Plus there's the rise of the femcee. I digress though.

If holograms are the way of the future...well damn, that kind of upsets me. The whole point of going to a show is to see the LIVE performance. Key word being live. As in, alive. The last thing I want to see is Hologram-Pac going on tour by himself, just imagine that. Or any other legends who have since passed, like Kurt Cobain, Biggie etc. People have been chattering on the internet about who they'd like to see return from the dead next-- and I've seen the Notorious B.I.G.  mentioned quite often. It's hard to express exactly how I feel about, because the technology blows my mind yet I also dislike it. I just don't want everyone coming back from the dead. We hype up a lot of these deceased artists partly because they are dead, or they died at such a young age, and we saw how much potential they had. Allowing lifeless images of them to take the stage just seems like it is on the verge of disrespect. What you're looking at is not real-- I mean, you might as well be watching a video of Tupac, because that image of him is just as 'real.' So, like I said, it kind of defeats the purpose of going to a live concert, if you're just watching a hologram.

The other crazy thing about the hologram technology is that they did not use “found footage” or “archival footage” to create Tupac, it's simply an illusion. Pac may have looked like he was 3D, but he was in fact a 2D image, projected onto an angled piece of glass on the ground, which in turn was projected onto a Mylar screen on the Coachella stage. I still don't get how they were able to make him say, “What's up Coachella?” Damn it's so weird, it's hard to wrap my head around it. Whatever though, I guess eventually we won't even need artists anymore, we'll just use their holograms.


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