The Tupac Hologram Is Terrifying and Distasteful. Let's Stop This Madness Now.

Categories: Freak Show
Tupac hologram.jpg

On Sunday, April 15, 2012, the world officially entered science fiction-land. Sure, iPods are pretty futuristic, GPS is spy magic from space, and we all have stupidly intelligent phones now, but nothing has felt quite as much like living in a Buck Rogers episode than when Tupac got resurrected in hologram form at Coachella.
 
By now, you've all seen it. And it's pretty shocking on a number of levels. The first time you see that thing in action, your brain starts spewing questions: How are they doing this? Should they be doing this? Is this a joke? Was Tupac's waist really that tiny? Is he really still alive, like that crazy bitch from the bar keeps insisting? But, after the shock of the spectacle is over and Dr Dre has announced that he wants to tour with this thing (we guess you don't spend half a million dollars creating something, only to use it once), the only thing we should all be feeling is horror.

There are so many ways in which this can all go horribly wrong, it's hard to know where to begin. Tupac's mother approved the use of the hologram before the performance, and was reportedly "thrilled" to see her son in action again, but is this really in the best taste? There is something a teeny bit ghoulish about watching a guy that died 16 years ago "performing" at one of the country's biggest festivals.

And since that it's been done once, artists all over the world would be advised to seek legal council now if they're to prevent their image being used like this after their own death. There has to be something a little bit scary about the prospect of being reanimated after you've died, by someone else, for public amusement, without your personal guidance about how you want to appear. It was bad enough when Kurt Cobain got stuck in that godawful Guitar Hero game -- think of what could be done with him now if someone offers Courtney Love enough money.   

kurt guitar hero.jpg
 
And think what Vegas is going to do with this. Cirque du Soleil already has a Beatles show -- imagine if they could do one with Beatles holograms. John Lennon flying through the air with the greatest of ease! It'd be horrific. What if artists didn't have to do residencies anymore and just allowed hologram versions of themselves to do it? It's easier, right? And really, Celine Dion is already like an artificially created human being -- how different would it be?

Well, very, actually (even for ol' robot face, Celine). And this is where the problem really starts. Watching a hologram is never, ever going to be like watching the real thing. Truthfully, technical trickery aside, you might as well be watching a music video or footage from a live show. The very joy of concerts and shows is seeing the artist in person, hearing them in their live form (that's live, as in a-live, as in not dead and resurrected), and listening to what they really sound like in person and up close and between songs, when they address the audience. Nobody needs to see a cleaned up rendition of Amy Winehouse, reflected out from a stage, curse words erased, eyeliner un-smudged, soul removed (we hope you're listening, Mitch Winehouse).

Resurrecting dead musicians on this level is not a trend to be embraced. The ticket-buying public should be wary too, since buying into this too much too soon could prompt entire hologram tours for artists that are still living, but want to be in two places at once. Since live music is where so many artists make most of their revenue these days, think of what a hologram could do to boost sales. The only time we'd want to see this kind of use of hologram technology is if Lady Gaga can make one and perform with herself. Because she'd do it really well and it would just enhance her already-elaborate stage show. (Okay, okay, Madonna, you can have one as well). But this is a slippery slope and we're peering over the edge of the cliff right now -- let's turn back while we still can.

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21 comments
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Tamilee
Tamilee

I think that would be awesome. I was born 30 years too late to see the beatles actually perform. I've been to a tribute band concert but that is not the same. We can never have the real thing but it's as close as we can get.

Ray
Ray

 How could you get so f**kin stupid in just 16 years?!?

Mitch Mitchell
Mitch Mitchell

The Beatles, Tupac, Michael, and Elvis all on tour again!  Wow--I wonder if they all could get together and do "Give Peace a Chance!"  That would be awesome!  I'm 16 yrs old and I think it would be cool as HE*L!!!!!  Technology RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

neecholas
neecholas

I can't even finish this article.

My name is RAE ALEXANDRA and I thoroughly hate entertaining innovations and things that are not "the usual."

This makes perfect sense, how in one of your recent Facebook posts you found something in common with yourself, Hillary Clinton and nuns....that youre all cold bitches who get things done.

Well here's another: all three of you are boring as hell.

Oh and consent? Tupac didn't remove his life from this planet...someone else did. Pac performed till he physically couldn't, if he were still here today you know we all would be cheering for an encore the past two weekends.

End of story: holograms aren't going anywhere, so take your gloves off and start high fiving your buds Rae.

It's a 3d you tube performance, where the audience is given the chance to savor it together.

Z1ggyt89
Z1ggyt89

I think it's more of a tribute. I don't think anyone did it to disgrace him especially if his close friends and family approve, they are just trying to keep his image and memory living on for new generations, I don't see anything wrong with it they aren't mocking him or anything.

Tommy
Tommy

Typical SF Weekly mega hipster article. Hate on everything that happens south of the bay area....especially coachella. Haters In The HOUUUSSSEEEE haha

Slick Rick
Slick Rick

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought it was cheese-dick lame. Come on now, if you're entertained by a computer-generated hologram then you're just a douchebag.

Ergo
Ergo

How about a holographic reenactment of Tupac's shooting?  The holographic Suge Knight driving then the holographic white caddy pulls up beside and in full glory pumps lead into the thugg.  Again and again , night after night, fans could experience the murder of Tupac at the Sleep Train Pavilion or whatever suburban shed they go to to see concerts  these days.

Joe_joe
Joe_joe

F*ck the haters I loved the hologram 2-pac. I would never want to see that retard lady gaga let alone 2 of her. Everyone joining the hologram hating band wagon can just go be retarded together. Most of the people in this world are stupid anyways so it only makes sense that they all agree on stupid shit too. get your own opinions, stop following

anon
anon

I agree this is disgusting. Let's hope Snoop Dogg and the rest of the hounds drop this stunt. Tupac's mom and estate should regret this abhorrent practice.

Audrey
Audrey

You sound ridiculous.

Justice
Justice

Uugh shut up people who always got something negative to say. Its not just about you. There are other people out here with different taste and preference. It is not more distasteful, stupid, and shameful then this ridiculouse unequal world we live in today. Shut your traps and keep it moving. You're negative... always want to be innocene, guess what that s*** opinions don't matter  they get old to.  And personal a response is not needed because I am one that does not give a f***!! Now put a smile on it and comment on the things that pertain to your personal space and the people in it. Just D***** ignorant always got to put 2cents on something that no body really gives a f*** how you are anyone else feel because you never had to go through or live in a different skin! Let it had been someone close to you,. Now You are f****** disgusting and shameful get a life other then being a freaking couch blogger!!!!!! 

anon
anon

 You shut up! We can be disgusted.

burning_plastic
burning_plastic

It's about as terrifying as watching an old Tupac video on tv. The weird part is Snoop standing next to the tv pretending he's in the video.

Dnaalvarez
Dnaalvarez

hahahahahahahha , when you are not ready and acording to your personality , automatic human reaction to something unexpected and so fasinating can cause two things, flow and  go  with the moment or be miserable, make you choise.

Asdlfuasdf
Asdlfuasdf

This is some breakthru shit... embrace it

Theawesome12
Theawesome12

The is the most stupid, asinine and technophobic article I have ever read.

JMANN86Ward
JMANN86Ward

STFU, Pac wanted his legacy to live on through his music, he wanted to be close to his fans even after his demise. His mother approved, his close friends (Snoop, Dre, Outlawz) approved - That should be it, end of discussion about whether or not it was appropriate. As far as your concern with other artists using holograms to manipulate tours I understand your point but everyone has a choice in the matter; just because ou're favorite star is in your city via hologram doesn't mean that you have to go. Get a life

anon
anon

You must not even be a casual Tupac fan.  Tupac was not "close friends" with Dre at any point in time.  At the peak of their relationship, they could work together on a professional level.  But 2Pac hated Dre most of the time, and he even disliked Snoop for backing off the East/West coast rivalry.

Also, you don't know whether Pac would have been okay with a hologram approximating his gestures and mannerisms.  Only 2Pac would know that. 

loyal fan
loyal fan

I really do not want to see dead people singing on stage. Natalie Cole singing with her deceased father on video that was cool and very tastefully done, but going to a concert and dead performer pops up on stage to me is ghoulishly horrifying and I don't want to see it or pay for it. Who's next MICHEAL JACKSON, WHITNEY HOUSTON, who?

Renee
Renee

It IS ghoulish and horrifying. Shall we even mention the ethical problem with presenting someone's likeness when they are no longer able to consent? I've talked to people who are positively traumatized after just watching videos. I can't imagine how those who watched this nightmare unfold live felt.

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