Thanks to hologram technology, the West Coast rap legend Tupac Shakur looks larger than life performing Hail Mary to the amazement of the crowd at Californian festival Coachella.
Then Snoop joined him on-stage for their 1996 duet 2 Of Americaz Most Wanted.
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.
Nick Smith, president of AV Concepts said: “We worked with Dr Dre on this and it was Dre’s vision to bring this back to life.”
“It was his idea from the very beginning and we worked with him and his camp to use 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.
Afeni Shakur, mother of the late Tupac said she was ‘thrilled’ with the latest recreation, although the experience was bittersweet. She did not attend Coachella but watched the performance live online.
Mr Smith said the hologram took almost four months to create in a studio, and the price range for a comparable live event would be between $100,000 to more than $400,000.
He said his company had the ability to visually recreate long-dead figures in the studio: “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.”
AV Concepts was also behind the 2005 Grammys performance featuring Madonna and the holographic members of the Gorillaz, as well as holograms used in concert by Celine Dion and the Black Eyed Peas.
Wu-Tang Clan’s Raekwon said he thinks Puffy will follow their lead and resurrect Notorious B.I.G. to join him on-stage: “That would be dope for Puffy to come on and we just do one of the biggest, majorest tours ever where it happens like that. He could go out and do the same thing, but it would be dope to do it together.”
“It’s beautiful, b. All I can say that it’s live. It’s wild when you see it. It looked like his spirit. That was brilliant. I tip my hat to Dre because it really shows the sense of love he had for Pac. Just to see someone do it for the first time ever. We only seen sh*t like that on TV.
He said he could see the late Wu-Tang rapper, Ol’ Dirty Bastard taking centre stage, but under one condition: “I would definitely have to have an understanding with his moms. I think it all starts with [her] respect level. If [she] want us to do it and they feel like it’s cool, that’s when we would continue to move on and do that. I wouldn’t jump up out of the blue and just say, “yo, I want to reincarnate your son this way.” I think it’s important that you give moms respect for her son.”