Resurrection rap: Tupac hologram knocks 'em dead at Coachella
Megan Levy April 17, 2012
Brought back to life ... Snoop Dogg, left, performs on stage with the eerie, but incredibly convincing Tupac hologram. Photo: YouTube
An eye-popping hologram of murdered rapper Tupac Shakur has stolen the show at US music festival Coachella and amplified questions about the future of "live" performance.
The high-definition projection of the gangsta rap icon appeared with superstars Snoop Dogg and Dr Dre in a stunning end to the first weekend of the annual music festival in California, setting off a wave of social media debate.
Thousands in the crowd gasped as the shirtless Tupac - killed in a drive-by shooting in Las Vegas in 1996 - rose up on the stage.
"What up, Coachella?" the digitally revived Tupac shouted before launching into his classic single Hail Mary.
Amazingly life-like, down to his signature tattoos, Timberland boots and jewellery, the hologram stalked the stage, swapping phrases with Snoop Dogg and performing 2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted, Come With Me, and Gangsta Party.
Then, Tupac's image dissipates.
The stunt was the vision of long-time friend Dr Dre, who sought permission from Tupac’s mother before commissioning the San Diego company AV Concepts, with the help of James Cameron’s Oscar-winning digital production company Digital Domain, to recreate him.
"We worked with Dr Dre on this and it was Dre’s vision to bring this back to life," Nick Smith, president of AV Concepts, told MTV.
‘‘It was his idea from the very beginning and we worked with him and his camp to utilise the technology to make it come to life."
Digital Domain is behind the digitally altered images of Brad Pitt in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Jeff Bridges in TRON: Legacy, and Rooney Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.