“What the f*** is up Coachella! Makaveli in this”
Six years ago, on 15th April 2012, a hologram of the late rapper Tupac Shakur appeared on stage at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
First introduced in 1999, The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is an annual event held in the Coachella Valley in California. It features artists from a wide variety of music genres from rock, indie, dance and hip-hop.
On the third day of the event, at the Empire Polo Field, after performances by Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg with appearances from Eminem, 50 Cent, Wiz Khalifa and Warren G, a shirtless Tupac Shakur rose up on the stage with a shoutout to his former label mates Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg and to the Coachella crowd, then proceeded to perform his single ‘Hail Mary’.
After Hail Mary, Snoop Dogg walks on stage to perform ‘2 of Amerikkaz Most Wanted’, a song that the two of them performed together at the House of Blues in Los Angles in July 1996. After performing his part of the song, Snoop Dogg then exits the stage to Tupac vanishing in front of the audiences eyes!
The image of Tupac is in fact not a hologram. It’s an updated version of a stage trick that dates back to the 1800’s. In the old version, an actor would hide underneath the stage and stagehands would use mirrors to project the image of a ghost. The modern version of this is to angle a piece of glass, which is placed on the stage, to reflect a projector image onto a screen that looks invisible to the audience.
AV Concepts, the team behind the performance, studied footage of Tupac, then created the animation that included characteristics of Tupac’s movements. AV Concepts president Nick Smith reveals that it was the idea of Dr Dre to bring the legendary, iconic rapper to life. “We worked with Dr Dre on this and it was Dre’s vision to bring this back to life. 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”.
Afeni Shakur, Tupac’s mom, praised the performance of her sons virtual appearance saying that it was thrilling yet bittersweet. Before the festival, Dr Dre reached out to Afeni for her approval regarding the performance. As a thank you for her blessing, Dre made a donation to the TASF (Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation).
Snoop Dogg reflects on the Tupac performance at the festival saying “It was all in the spirit of love and bringing back the true spirit of one of the greatest hip-hop legends of all time”.
Other reactions include Katy Perry who took to Twitter, “I think I might have cried when I saw Tupac” and Rihanna tweeted “#TupacBACK #unbelievable #IWASTHERE #STORY4myGrandKidz”.
Watch the thrilling performance below