Tupac Shakur was killed in 1996, but he rose from the stage at Coachella on Sunday, a hologram that entertained a mesmerized crowd and promised a new era of technologically enhanced grave robbing.
Shakur’s likeness appeared during a performance that included all-stars Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent and Wiz Khalifa. Dre and Snoop addressed the image and the crowd as if Shakur was actually there. In fact the hologram, which was a made-to-order creation of James Cameron’s visual effects studio, addressed the audience directly.
We have no idea what Shakur, a sharp social critic, would have to say about this bizarre cultural turn. But we can probably expect that he is on the vanguard of a new boom in performances by the deceased. As Bloomberg Businessweek wonders, “How long will it be before we send Elvis Presley back to Vegas?” What about Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead? —PZS