2pac Hologram: Modern Miracle or Creepy Precedent?

2pac back! 2pac back! I log on to Facebook and they yellin’ 2pac back!

As I’m sure you all know by now, 2pac rose from the grave at Coachella Valley Music and Arts festival last weekend. What also arose is debate about whether this holographic tribute took things too far.

In the magical land of social media, there was much rejoicing. Hip hop fans were not only amazed by the technology (here’s a great read on how the holographic illusion was created) but were excited about the future. My Twitter mentions were exploding with requests for Hologram Left Eye, Hologram Jam Master Jay and Hologram Big Pun. Sadly, there was no love for Jem and the Holograms.

Except from this lady:

Of course, there’s also the 2Pac fans that proudly proclaimed “see, I knew he won’t dead! He looks too real!” like they found a loose Cheeto in a couch cushion.

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 Y’all can go search for Bigfoot while the grown folks talk.

Like everyone else (who has good sense), I was astounded by the technology that created Ghost Pac – but that’s where my interest ended. While the hip hop fan in me dearly misses the talents of Aaliyah and The Notorious B.I.G., there’s just something weird about watching a faux Baby Girl grinding off beat to “Rock the Boat” or a transparent Biggie lurching around on stage. I love ODB but I have no interest in coming face-to-face with his spectral projection. Word to the ThunderCats.

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Sure, the Pac hologram looked realistic, moved somewhat realistically, and it was cool to see it interact with the crowd but something didn’t sit quite right. Maybe it was because no matter how realistic Hologram Pac looked, my eyes couldn’t fool my brain – I knew it wasn’t THE Pac and I couldn’t suspend belief. It was like watching a Resident Evil zombie rapping “Hail Mary.” For me, that’s when Hologram Pac crossed the line from cool tribute to ghastly gimmick.

Still, as a one-off stunt, I had no problem with Hologram Pac. My problem is with the aftermath. Rumor has it that Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg are considering taking Pac’s ghost around with them on tour. That’s a bit of a red flag. Every penny has been squeezed from Pac’s corpse but now it seems that money can be made from his digital soul.

It’s bad enough to repackage old songs ad nauseum in attempt to make a buck, but prancing around a carbon copy of a fallen star seems like exploitation. Plus, it opens the floodgates for all kinds of wackness – don’t think Diddy is above pairing up Ghost Biggie and Rick Rawssssse for some ridiculous stunt. Do you really want desperate record execs to throw Ghost Aaliyah on stage with The Creature from the Neon Lagoon to boost sales? Corporate greed knows no bounds.

Hologram Pac was a miracle of modern technology, but in the future, please let our favorites rest in peace. But you know, if current rap wasn’t so atrocious, maybe scientists wouldn’t have to go grave robbing for talent. Hip hop, step your game up.

What did you think of the holographic 2pac?


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