Rap legend Tupac was brought back from the dead to perform with Snoop Dogg and Dr Dre at Californian music festival, Coachella. “What the f**k is up, Coachella?” A hologram of the rapper, who was murdered in 1996, asked the stunned audience as he materialised on stage. This eerie “resurrection” of Tupac cost about $400 000 and took four months to perfect.
An article in the Washington Post explains that while it is commonly referred to as a hologram, the performance was actually a 2-D projection. A 9m x 4m screen was lowered onto the stage right before the image of the deceased superstar appeared. His image was projected from above onto a reflective surface which then reflected onto a huge screen. The screen was angled in such a way that it was invisible to the audience.
The performance was put together by rap veteran Dr Dre, James Cameron’s Digital Domain and two imaging companies. They used old footage of Tupac’s performances to create an animation that was disturbingly life-like because it incorporated some of his characteristic movements.
Dead singers have been brought back to life with the help of holograms before, but this was the first time that a hologram featured a unique performance by a deceased artist.
Is this the future of posthumous performances? Dr Dre seems to think so. Speaking to MTV News, he said that he hopes artists like Jimi Hendrix and Marvin Gaye can also be “resurrected”. He plans on continuing his work with holograms and hopes that they will eventually be performed in 360 degrees. There has also been talk that Tupac’s image will embark on a tour but nothing has been confirmed yet.
Writer Gil Kaufmann says that Tupac’s hologram could set a trend for future performances. On the other hand, while they are still a novelty, holograms risk becoming a worn-out trend. “For example, if Paul McCartney announced a tour with a virtual John Lennon, Beatles fans would likely see that as being in bad taste and not show up,” said Kaufmann.
See the the Tupac hologram @ pPerdeby7410d or below.