The Twittersphere was a-buzz about the polarizing, digital resurrection of rapper Tupac Shakur during Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre's headlining set at the Coachella Music Festival Sunday night. According to MTV News, the stunningly detailed hologram of the rapper (who died in 1996) could have cost from $100,000 to over $400,000 to create!
While the actual specifics of how the hologram works are under wraps until after the festival closes, in an interview with Dr. Dre last week on Los Angeles radio station Power 106 revealed that Coachella organizers had given the rapper a "blank check" to do whatever he wanted for his weekend sets. Before the festival, there were initial rumors of a hologram homage to rapper, and frequent Dre and Snoop collaborator, Nate Dogg, who passed away last May due to complications from multiple strokes. With a second set coming up the second weekend of Coachella, chances are a hologram Nate Dogg may be the surprise guest joining the set, perhaps even along with hologram Tupac!
San Diego company AV Concepts, whose work includes Brad Pitt's reverse aging in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," the youthful Jeff Bridges in "TRON: Legacy," and the holographic Gorillaz performance for the 2005 Grammys, was hired on to create the Tupac hologram. AV Concepts president Nick Smith said of the technology, "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."
With this technology in existence, there is a massive catalog of deceased or audience-fearing artists that have the possibility of performing live. Thus with the under-million price tag, Smith described the process as being "affordable" since it does away with the cost of transporting artists and the ability to "put [artists] in every venue in the country." While this may seem strange and almost disrespectful to some to bring back the dead in such a way, Shakur's mother Afeni Shakur was "positively thrilled" with hologram Tupac's performance, according to TMZ
And like with any other huge event in recent times, immediately after the performance a Twitter page for the Tupac hologram has popped up, gaining over 10,000 followers in less than a day.
What do you think of the Tupac Shakur hologram at Coachella? Leave your comments below!