Tupac Comes Alive Via Hologram to Perform at Coachella [Video]

The biggest buzz at Sunday’s Coachella music festival was for Tupac Shakur, the rapper who died more than 15 years ago and “performed” Sunday night alongside Snoop Dogg and producer Dr. Dre.

Despite having been dead for over 15 years, Tupac Shakur joined Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg on the main stage at Coachella late Sunday night, reports The Huff Post.

Tupac materialized on stage alongside his old friend Snoop Dogg during a crowd-pleasing set by the Doggfather and Dr. Dre, which also featured appearances from Eminem, 50 Cent, Wiz Khalifa and Warren G.

“What up, Coachella?” the shirtless, pants sagging MC asked the crowd before bouncing into the classic single “Hail Mary,” according to MTV.

The life-size Tupac was amazingly realistic, down to the late rapper’s signature tattoos, Timberland boots, jewelry and movements, all of which were recreated under the direction of Dre and his team.

The rapper’s ghostly image was created by Digital Domain Media Group Inc.,the visual-effects house responsible for making the virtual versions of Brad Pitt that populated 2008’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”

The Oscar-winning CG factory also made CG images Jeff Bridges in “TRON: Legacy,” Kevin Bacon in “X-Men: First Class” and Rooney Mara in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”

“We worked with Dr. Dre on this and it was Dre’s vision to bring this back to life,” said Nick Smith, president of AV Concepts, the San Diego company that projected and staged the hologram. “It was his idea from the very beginning and we worked with him and his camp to utilize the technology to make it come to life.”

Representatives for Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre plan to discuss logistics for a tour involving the two performers and the virtual Tupac, according to a person familiar with the discussions, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“To create a completely synthetic human being is the most complicated thing that can be done,” Digital Domain’s chief creative officer, Ed Ulbrich said.

The hologram was several months in the planning and took nearly four months to create in a studio. Smith was not able to reveal the exact price tag for the illusion, but he said a comparable one could cost anywhere from $100,000 to more than $400,000 to pull off.

“I can’t say how much that event cost, but I can say it’s affordable in the sense that if we had to bring entertainers around world and create concerts across the country, we could put [artists] in every venue in the country,” he said.

Snoop and Dre were also joined by Eminem, who performed “I Need a Doctor” and “Forgot About Dre.” 50 Cent, Wiz Khalifa and Kendrick Lamar also made appearances, as the night proved to be a celebration of rap’s heavy hitters, old-school classics and almost-old school hits (“In Da Club,” anyone?).

But it was certainly Tupac’s hologram who stole the show. Twitter was set ablaze by the performance, with musicians like Rihanna and Questlove expressing their amazement with the technology.

The hologram has spawned a parody Twitter account, @hologram2pac. Sample tweets include a resurrection of his rivalry with Biggie Smalls: “Hologram Biggie ain’t gonna happen. Ain’t no projector that big in the earth to project that fat mofo.”

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