Tupac Hologram: A Blast from the Past or a Preview of the Future?

If you asked me a year ago which would come first, seeing Tupac perform sixteen years after his death or flying cars, I would have said confidently, “flying cars, of course.” Then came the rumors that Pac would be making an appearance at Coachella 2012 alongside Dr.Dre and Snoop Dogg. I still didn’t believe it. Then on April 16th history was made, and the deceased rapper was once again onstage. A little over a decade since his death, the world stood still has a hologram projection changed what the world thought was possible. For some, it was jumping in a time-machine and reliving a glorious moment in the 90’s. For others, like children in my generation, we had a chance to see what some consider “the best rapper” on stage for the first time. It was like looking at a ghost, the tattoos, the mannerisms; technology had brought Tupac back.

This is strictly my opinion, but the return of Tupac has only confirmed a theory that I have pondered for some time. We are living in the time of the past. Is this generation so lost, so talentless, so incapable of living without the legendary figures of the past that we must bring them back from the grave for a few minutes of pleasure? I couldn’t understand the logic of using a hologram at a live show; it’s basically a programmed robot with the face of a legendary rapper and clothed in his personality. Technology has killed the CD, it has slowly destroyed the social aspects of life, and now it has set its sights on redefining live performances.

Hologram Tupac cannot interact with the crowd; he won’t be able to pour his soul into the show. Let’s be honest, he can’t even enjoy the perks of having a generation of groupies. Yet the reaction of the people has sold the soul of all the deceased rappers. Biggie, Stack Bundles and Big L will be at Summer Jam strictly because it would throw the world in frenzy. Michael Jackson will be moonwalking across a B.E.T. awards stage near you while Chris Brown cries tears of joy . Soon enough Johnny Cochran will be returning to the court-room defending the next fool with a glove that’s a size too small. Just like the way hip-hop attached to auto-tune because it was such a profitable addition to vocals, we could be sitting on the cusp of a hologram takeover.

The funny thing about Tupac’s return to the spot-light is he’s one of the few icons in history that people would argue still walks among us. Foolish Suge Knight recently stated that he believes Pac is very much alive. After all this time, the man that sat beside Tupac Shakur the night of his untimely demise, waits until the artificial version hits the stage to make such a statement. Who would have thought after all this time has passed that Suge would still be using Pac to stay in the media? Part of me wishes he was alive so he can come and tell you how foolish all these rumors and allegations are.

To be frank, I’m 100% against this hologram revolution. In an industry where artist praise how real they are, this is incredibly fake. The spirit of Pac was free, wild, unpredictable. That’s the Pac I want to see live, not a computer generated façade that knows all the words to his songs. Many worry that this is tarnishing his legacy, which is far-fetched. It’s doing nothing to shame the good name that Shakur spent his life-time building; it’s just utilizing his popularity in an ingenious way. Again, we are living in the time of the past, when we should be praising the future. Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino, A$AP Rocky, Frank Ocean and many more had fantastic shows at Coachella, but how can they compete with the return of a legend. They shouldn’t have to! Let the legend rest in peace while potential legends continue to strive to shoulder the weight that the deceased have put on their back to carry the legacies they created. Hologram Tupac isn’t real, he isn’t the future, and he was created to be someone that he could never amount to. He isn’t Tupac Shakur.

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