Fresh from its triumphant performance at Coachella, the hologram of Tupac Shakur is in demand for a full-scale tour. Just days after the CGI simulacrum joined Snoop Dogg and Dr Dre at the California festival, the two living rappers’ teams are trying to work out whether the projection could accompany them on tour.
The Coachella crowd went wild for Shakur, who appeared to have returned from the dead and rapped both alone and in a duet with Snoop. Although the image was not strictly speaking a hologram – Shakur appeared in two dimensions, not three, using a 19th-century magician’s illusion – it was no cheap party trick. According to MTV News, the company that created the hologram charges between $100,000 and $400,000 (£63,000-£251,000) to create the effect, which was produced at Dr Dre’s request.
Dre and Snoop now hope to capitalise on that investment. As well as appearing at Coachella’s forthcoming second weekend, the Shakur hologram is being prepared for a possible arena tour. The rappers’ teams are discussing logistics, the Wall Street Journal reports, with a tour described as “likely but not guaranteed”. “One option would be a tour in stadiums, involving other hip-hop stars, including Eminem, 50 Cent and Wiz Khalifa,” the Wall Street Journal said. “Alternately, they could stage a more limited tour, featuring only Dre, Snoop Dogg and the virtual Tupac, in smaller arenas.”
“Dre has a massive vision for this,” said Digital Domain’s El Ulbrich, who led the CGI project – AV Concepts produced the hologram, but its partner Digital Domain was responsible for the animation. “This is not found footage. This is not archival footage. This is an illusion … [and it] is just the beginning.” Shakur’s mother approves of the project, according to TMZ, and was “absolutely positively thrilled” with the Coachella performance.
Tupac Shakur was killed in a still-unsolved 1996 drive-by shooting. He was 25.
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