Is The 2Pac Hologram Creepy Or Slightly Awesome?
By Jack Kelly
As most of the world should already know by now, 2Pac, or more officially Tupac Shakur was resurrected; just like we all were told with his deeply philosophical record Makaveli , and reunited with iconic rappers Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. For those who have not seen the performance, you can check it out right here; for those that have, WTF do you think?
As for me? I am not exactly sure what to make of it. On one hand, it was impressive seeing Pac up there with Dre and Snoop like it was old times, but it seemed strange. My initial reaction was not enthusiasm, but caution. Don’t get me wrong, overall it is something I liked, but do we really want this? Dead rockstars coming back to life just to be whored out by some greedy record company? And more importantly where does this end? Why stop at music? Also, are we blending what is real and what is not?
Hold that thought.
As the mostly positive and immense reaction poured in all over the world, rumors immediately started circulating that Dre was considering doing a whole tour with the Hologram 2Pac. My first thought upon reading some of these stories was excitement. It was just a natural reaction. As with many people in my age group (31 baby, graduated High School in 99) I was a big fan of 2Pac, Dre and Snoop Doggy Dog. (as he was referred to back then) The whole East Coast- West Coast feud that ended with the death of the Notorious BIG and 2Pac himself, represented a momentous shift in American culture.
One could argue that the impact Dr. Dre and by some extension NWA, along with Biggie, 2Pac and Snoop radically changed the American landscape. Before NWA, hip-hop was an isolated and some may have called it, an exotic art form. It was neutralized to the confines of African American communities and very rarely ventured into the sphere of white Americans. Sure, there was the whole Aerosmith thing with RUN DMC, but it was a temporary glance from white America. Not until NWA and then later, with Dre, Pac and Snoop, did Hip-hop explode onto the American scene and into the homes of white-suburban American children; never to be isolated in the ghetto again.
The impact of this period was enormous and had an impact far bigger than music. For the first time, many white Americans were given a tour of the African American ghetto’s. But the story was not being told by some government agency or good intentioned white person trying to raise awareness, it was being skillfully and beautiful spun by themselves. Their words, their beats, their life. Because of this, the very real wound that America has been trying to heal since slavery and then again, during the civil rights period, was made easier by the the music of this period of hip-hop. I’ll go so far as to emphatically state that without the album “The Chronic” being released, Barack Obama would not be President today.
This may be a stretch for some, but I implore you to try and recognize this period in America and how explosive this music was when it was first released. It was violent, Shakespearian-poetry with the beats of a Michael Jackson song. It was intoxicating and I believed helped America bridge it’s racial divisions. Although racism is still alive and well, we are leaps and bounds from where we were, and in some ways I credit artist like 2Pac for helping, however indirectly it might have been.
So for me, a tour featuring Dre, Pac and Snoop is fascinating. Being able to see Snoop and Pac perform Americaz Most Wanted or Dre doing California Love with Pac, is a spectacle people, including myself, would flock to see.
But should we?
I am not sure we should. Let us consider that if this project is planned and successfully executed, the flood gates will open. Companies that make Holograms will look to expand their business, like any other company. They will search for markets and offer holograms for any occasion. After a successful hologram 2Pac tour, why not bring back John Lennon and George Harrison for a quick 10 city tour with the Beatles? How about bringing back Jim Morrison to do the same with The Doors or Kurt Cobain with Nirvana? Maybe a hologram Kurt Cobain could even write another Hole album, therefore not only reuniting Nirvana, but literally resurrecting a band that existed because of him and then later, Billy Gorgan.
Now imagine if all three of these tours were major successes? Hologram companies would be losing their minds. They would be thinking of all sorts of crazy shit to do for the purpose of feeding the beast. So, like any industry, a newly formed hologram company will have to expand the market beyond music. So why not politics? Why not bring back JFK and Jackie for
But, it can even get more twisted than that.
What if another hologram company decides to market their holograms to more personal things, such as resurrecting dead relatives. What if say, for the price of $20,00o, a hologram company could bring back your deceased father or mother, or a tragically killed child, for a whole week? You would be able to talk, speak and maybe even take a walk with one of your dead loved ones. How many people would do this? I believe a lot would. Anyone who has lost someone close to them, can appreciate the desire to see that person for even just 5 minutes. If a company could exploit that emotion, people would purchase the hologram.
So in conclusion, I don’t want the hologram 2Pac to go on tour. The reason? Because he is the HOLOGRAM 2Pac. The real 2 Pac is dead. Am I against using the hologram 2Pac for some other purpose? No way! Maybe they could do a Broadway play with the hologram 2Pac or do a couple albums, but a tour? No, that is just creepy.
Would he give interviews after shows?
REPORTER: So hologram Pac, how does it feel to be alive again and performing with Snoop? Are you still mad at Biggie? Are you scared Suge Knight might try and kill you again?
Death sucks. Regardless if it is an iconic entertainer such as 2Pac or John Lennon, or a close relative. But death is a part of life and a hologram impersonation would just make us miss the real person so much more.
You just can’t replace the real thing.