Coachella 2012: Tupac 'responds' to his reincarnation
Late Sunday night, as the first of two identical weekends of the Coachella Music and Arts Festival drew to a close, the anticipation was building about who would rise from, well, the dead and appear in hologram form during Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg’s closing set.
Though rumors circulated that the late G-Funk singer Nate Dogg would be the one getting the technologically advanced treatment, the crowd was treated instead to a more traditional photo slideshow of the singer, a good move considering that his untimely death a little over a year ago still feels fresh.
In a surprise twist, iconic West Coast rapper Tupac Shakur rose onto the mainstage for a cameo. Yes, it was incredibly eerie and a little bit scary to see the rapper, who was murdered more than 15 years ago, walking and talking -- he even greeted the crowd with a strikingly pitch-perfect speaking voice.
Not even the biggest of Tupac conspiracy theorists could have braced for the moment, and immediately Twitter buzzed over the appearance, where he is still trending on Monday morning.
With snarky quips from Twitter users like “Tupac is the hardest working dead man alive (@kushcupcakes),” or "Right after it was unplugged, the Tupac hologram released another four album (@ChrisRRegan)" to criticism like, “when i saw tupac i was actually speechless made me sad (@dooner).” Some even decided to prophesize the moment. "Doesn't the hologram of Tupac at #Coachella say more about the current state of hip-hop than the current state of technology?" wrote one user.
Times pop critic Randall Roberts called the moment, “A red herring, unnecessary and ill advised. His abs still looked great, it's true, and there was a certain spring in his step as he and (the living) Snoop rapped their collaboration "2 of Americaz Most Wanted." But when the hologram rhymed the line, "my intention's to get richer," well, we know how that ended up.”
But keeping with the tradition of reincarnation, one savvy Twitter user thought to create an account for the hologram, @HologramTupac, since we’d all be talking about it for days. Since last night, the Twitter handle has provided a stream of tweets just as witty as a person posing as a hologram posing as a dead rapper could.
“I could have sworn I died with a shirt on,” one of the less-profane riffs read late last night. Another joked that now that he’s out of a job (obviously we’d disagree), he wanted to know how he “can audition for the next Grand Theft Auto?”
Could we be looking at our first digital superstar?
“As long as I have a power supply, I'll care #PlugLife”
Clips of the performance are plastered all over the Internet, but TMZ made a safe-for-work version that you can check out below:
-- Gerrick D. Kennedy @gerrickkennedy
Photo: Rapper Snoop Dogg, left, and a hologram of deceased Tupac Shakur perform onstage during Day 3 of the 2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. Credit: Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Coachella