Monday, April 16, 2012

Tupac Hologram - Coachella 2012

Rapper Tupac joined Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg on stage at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Annual Festival Sunday. Yes, you read that right. The rapper, who died in 1996, was brought to life as the Tupac hologram to perform his hits, “Hail Mary” and “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted.”

Thanks to technology, the hologram even greeted the crowd with a “What’s up Coachella?”
Jeans sagging and bare chested, the hologram may have freaked out some in the audience. One concertgoer wrote on Twitter, “this place just went silent. People are genuinely horrified by the Tupac hologram.”

The first weekend of Coachella closed with a mega celebration of old school meets new school hip-hop as Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg hit the main stage together, with an unprecedented guest list. In addition to appearances from 50 Cent, Eminem, Wiz Khalifa and Kendrick Lamar, a Tupac Shakur hologram was live on stage. (Not the rumored Nate Dogg hologram we'd previously heard about).

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Amid plenty of billowing smoke and a lively visual backdrop, the living legends performed a myriad of their combined hits, kicking things off with “The Next Episode,” and following up with tracks like “Gin and Juice,” "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang" and “Deep Cover."

Snoop performed several of his solo numbers like “I Wanna Rock” and “Drop It Like It’s Hot” as well as his rendition of House of Pain’s “Jump Around.” He resurrected the classic cut, “Ain’t No Fun,” which was complemented with a flashing montage of deceased singer Nate Dogg playing in the background. Kurupt and Warren G came onstage for the number too, making it a true Dogg Pound reunion.

“Me and my n---- Snoop Dogg have been together for 20 years!” Dre proclaimed at one point as Snoop started smoking onstage, clearly in high spirits.

A slew of guests joined the heavyweight pair including Wiz Khalifa who performed “Young, Wild & Free” and newcomer Kendrick Lamar who spit “The Recipe.” 50 Cent brought East Coast flavor into the mix with a surprise appearance, performing crowd favorites like “What Up Gangsta,” “In Da Club,” and “P.I.M.P.” Eminem brought out perhaps the biggest crowd reaction, accompanying Dre on “I Need A Doctor,” “Forgot About Dre” and at Dre’s prodding, “Till I Collapse.”

Perhaps most surprising was how deceased rapper Tupac Shakur was brought into the fray via an eerily realistic Tupac hologram. “What the f--- is up Coachella!” screamed the shirtless and tattooed Tupac hologram as he performed “Hail Mary” and “2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted,” the latter, with Snoop.
Coming full circle, Dre and Snoop finished their set solo with the bouncy "Still D.R.E."
"Coachella we the f--- out of here. I want to say thank you for the love for so many years!" Dre shouted as the pair left the stage. So many years, still going strong.

That’s right, Snoop Dogg’s Sunday night Coachella closer was a monster of a set that featured many of hip-hop’s greatest hits and its biggest stars, one of whom died more than 15 years ago. Tupac arrived via hologram, seamlessly -- and amazingly -- joining Snoop on “Come With Me,” "Hail Mary" and “Gangsta Party.”

The Tupac hologram and late rapper was one of more than a handful of hip-hop luminaries that whipped the crowd into a frenzy from kick-off at 10:35 p.m. to just before midnight. Snoop and Dre were billed from the get-go, and Eminem was expected but throughout the 90-minute set, the names kept on coming. From Tony Yayo to Warren G and Kurupt to 50 Cent, who delivered his hit “Birthday.” He followed Wiz Khalifa, who arrived to light up the stage -- and a massive joint (see photo below) -- with Snoop on their radio smash, “Young, Wild & Free,” while Eminem helped out with “Forgot About Dre,” “I Need a Doctor” and his own “Till I Collapse.”

The performance (which includes graphic language) was touted as a unique blend of entertainment and technology that had the Internet abuzz over the weekend. 

Trending phrases on Twitter early Monday included: #nowthat2pacsback, #HolographicTupac, Pac and Snoop Dogg, among others. 

Celebs at the music festival, held annually in Coachella, Calif., were impressed with the innovation that allowed hundreds to simulate catching Tupac in concert.

Shakur, who would be 40-years-old if alive today, died in September 1996 in an unsolved shooting in Las Vegas.

Katy Perry wrote, "I think I might have cried when I saw Tupac. #Coachella" while her pal Rihanna tweeted, "#TupacBACK#unbelievable #IWASTHERE #STORY4myGrandKidz."