April 17, 2012

Tupac is (Un)Dead…Sort of.

My Tupac t-shirt that I still sleep in - Jamie Squires

Tupac still lives. If only in digital form.

Coachella. The music festival held in Indio, CA  was once, in my brain, tied to performers like The Chemical Brothers, Tool and Rage Against the Machine. Now, it will always be the festival that brought Tupac back to life. I have always been a Tupac fan. I make no apologies for it, I love his music. I did not live his life or judge a person I do not know. I know his voice always made smile. Still does.

Sunday night at Coachella the crowd went crazy when Tupac Skakur appeared onstage out of the blackness and performed his song “Hail Mary” from the afterlife and then, a very much alive, Snoop Dogg came on stage to accompany him in their collaboration of “2 of Americaz Most Wanted.”

Dear Snoop Dogg: How was that, emotionally? I am uncertain I would be able to be face to face with a virtual version of a friend/family member who passed away. There is a part of me that would require alcohol and lots of alcohol to get through that surreal Alice in Wonderland meets the Matrix type of event. Let me know. xoxo Jamie

The holographic performance culminated with Tupac vanishing from the stage. Considering that Tupac was murdered, shot four times, in Las Vegas in 1996 and was on stage this weekend, there are a wide range of  emotions regarding this two song set. The sentiments range from ghoulish and creepy to amazingly brilliant and beautiful. Personally, I watched with my mouth hanging open and uttered a shocked expletive or three.

Tupac Shakur lived a violent life, was incredibly talent and equally troubled. Many people refuse to believe he is actually gone. This may have been the best way to give fans, friends and family a solid goodbye. A non-violent way to remember someone they treasured, that is a gift and hopefully a release from pain.

This digital version of Tupac was designed by a NYC  firm and  “A video was first composed by New York (special effects) company MPC using a mixture of live footage, wire-framing, and CGI,” Aaron Souppouris wrote. “This was then fed into (3-D hologram company) Musion’s holographic technology, which projects the image onto a special foil. The foil is based on principles set out in the old magician’s illusion Pepper’s Ghost, which trick audiences into thinking they’re viewing a person or object rather than a simple reflection.” Although this was a truly remarkable use of technology, I can not fully fathom the cost or how this came to be.

Regardless, the cost or who may or may not have smoked what to come up with this idea,  I see it as a last hurrah and a proper goodbye.

Watching a peaceful death of a human being reminds us of a falling star; one of a million lights in a vast sky that flares up for a brief moment only to disappear into the endless night forever. 

~Elisabeth Kübler-Ross 

Rest in Peace Tupac—finally.

(warning graphic lyrics)




Editor: Kate Bartolotta

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