On April 15th 2012, a hologram of the late rapper Tupac Shakur appeared on stage at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
Introduced in 1999, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is an annual event held in Coachella Valley, California. It features artists from a wide variety of music genres from rock, indie, dance and hip-hop.
On the third day at the Empire Polo Field festival goers saw performances by Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg. Also appearances from Eminem, 50 Cent, Warren G and Wiz Khalifa. What came next would not only shock everybody in attendance but send the world into a frenzy. A shirtless Tupac Shakur rose up on the stage with a shoutout to Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg. The Coachella crowd erupted, as the shirtless ‘Pac proceeded to perform his single ‘Hail Mary’.
“What the f*** is up Coachella! Makaveli in this”
After Hail Mary, Snoop Dogg walks on stage to perform ‘2 of Amerikkaz Most Wanted’. Tupac and Snoop performed this song together in July 1996 at the House of Blues in Los Angles. After performing the song, Snoop Dogg then exits the stage to Tupac vanishing in front of the audience’s eyes!
An Updated Trick From 1800s
The image of Tupac is in fact not a hologram. It’s an updated version of a stage trick that dates back to the 1800s. The old version, an actor would hide underneath the stage and stagehands would use mirrors to project the image. The modern version of this is to angle a piece of glass placed on the stage. This reflects a projector image onto a screen that looks invisible to the audience.
AV Concepts, the team behind the performance, studied footage of Tupac, then created the animation that included Tupac’s movements. AV Concepts president Nick Smith says it was Dr Dre’s idea to bring the legendary rapper to life. “We worked with Dr Dre on this and it was Dre’s vision,” Nick said. ” It was his idea from the very beginning. We worked with him to utilize the technology to make it come to life”.
Reaction To Tupac’s Coachella Performance
Afeni Shakur, Tupac’s mom, praised the performance of her sons’ virtual appearance saying that it was thrilling yet bittersweet. Before the festival, Dr Dre reached out to Afeni for her approval regarding the performance. As a thank you for her blessing, Dre made a donation to the TASF (Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation).
On reflection, Snoop Dogg praised the Tupac performance at the festival and paid tribute to ‘Pac. The Long Beach rapper said, “It was all in the spirit of love. Bringing back the true spirit of one of the greatest hip-hop legends of all time”.
Other reactions include Katy Perry who took to Twitter, “I think I might have cried when I saw Tupac.” Rihanna tweeted “#TupacBACK #unbelievable #IWASTHERE #STORY4myGrandKidz.”
Watch the thrilling performance below.