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Holler If You See Me - Chris 'Preach' Smith

History was made at Coachella Sunday.

Yes, by now the world is still buzzing about the fact that Tupac Shakur
appeared onstage with Dr.Dre, Eminem and Snoop Dogg Sunday night.
Yes, the same Tupac Shakur who was gunned down in Las Vegas years
ago. Thanks to the collaboration between Dre and AV Concepts, Tupac
was rejuvenated for the set, sending the Coachella crowd and everyone
crazy for days after. Now the ‘hologram’ (in reality it’s a 2-D, CGI model
displayed by a 19th century technique of reflection known as ‘Pepper’s
Ghost’) not only has its own Twitter account, but it also may be going
on tour with Snoop and Wiz Khalifa among others. This raises many
questions, but none bigger than this:

Are we THAT starved for quality concerts?

First, give Dre a lot of credit for again making another techonlogical
breakthrough in the world of hip-hop. He did have people gassed with
initial reports of Nate Dogg being the one to be revived digitally, even
though there are reports of more to come and both Dre and AV Concepts
aren’t giving away too much. The other positive here is that Afeni
Shakur, ‘Pac’s mother did give her blessing for this to take place, which
worried me when I saw first reports about this. But in regards to that
question I posed above…taking a ‘hologram’ on tour? Dre has a vision,
all right. He’s looking to stack huge amounts of paper. Wiz Khalifa is
arguably the most popular of the contemporary rappers out. Big arena
concerts run you about 55 dollars and up. Add a phenomena like this
Tupac hologram and you’re now talking a 50 dollar increase. Taylor Swift
money. That’s one underlying aspect to this. I’ve seen jokes about doing
this for Biggie and Big L and others, but who’s to say that won’t happen?

The other underlying issue is, will this be the upcoming norm now? The
tech behind this costs about $100,000 to $400,000. How many hip-hop
artists can you name that would be able to pull this off night in and night
out? And as Questlove said on Twitter, there may be some half-hearted
imitators coming down the pike. Imagine a…dare I say it…French Montana
hologram?! I’m safe in saying no one wants to see that. This whole thing
seems like a revamp of Michael Crichton’s ‘Westworld’. Plus, what does it
say that people will be more amped to spend money for a show like this
but have complained in the past about paying for shows like Rock The
Bells, Paid Dues and others? The ghost in the shell is loose…let’s see if
it’ll remain innovative and positive.

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