Watch the Tupac performance below:
Yep, that was really him.
Or rather, a hologram of him.
Late rapper Tupac Shakur resurrected onto the Coachella stage this past Sunday night to perform a few of his hit songs alongside music maven Snoop Dogg, to the shock and disbelief of the music festival’s 75,000 fans.
“What up, Coachella?!” the bare-chested Tupac hologram greeted a roaring crowd, before joining Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre on classic single “Hail Mary.”
The faux Shakur wore acid-wash jeans and Timberland boots circa 1995, just around the time he was shot dead on September 13, 1996, at the young age of 25.
Shakur also joined Snoop for songs “Come With Me” and “Gangsta Party,” stalking around the stage and showing off his buff physique.
The unique display lit up the Twitterverse both from celebrities and concert-goers alike.
Among the comments registered in the moments after: “i can’t even begin to imagine what this Tupac hologram is doing to all the people at Coachella that have been on acid for 3 days straight,” wrote @JordanETID
Tweeted @KirillWasHere: “Next year Coachella should just have a HOLOGRAM TENT featuring all the acts that we wish we got to see live…,” while @Swagstro offered this thought: “I wonder how many rappers retired from seeing the Tupac hologram on COACHELLA.”
Still, some in the crowd found it unsettling. “Was completely freaked out by the Tupac hologram and I’m fairly certain I was one of five people out of 100,000 not on drugs,” tweeted @molly_knight.
After Dr. Dre was lowered into the stage as his final bow, eccentric artist @HarMarSuperstar cracked, “Dre and Snoop just got lowered into cryogenic freezing chambers. They’ll perform again at Coachella 2025.”
In no time, Tupac, Pac, hologram and “Hail Mary” were trending in addition to #snoopndre and Coachella.
A repeat is likely in store for next weekend as the Coachella festival returns to Indio’s Empire Polo Field with three more days of music and identical acts.
Some 75,000 were expected to attend weekend one. According to an Indio Police spokesman, 98 concert goers have been arrested, mostly on alcohol- and drug-related charges.
That was certainly not the case onstage during Snoop’s set, however, as the rapper freely puffed on a blunt. As the song goes, “California, no doubt about it.”
Break out the champagne glasses and the motherf–kin’ condoms.
This weekend’s Coachella festival was the place to be. Everyone was there. Nina Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder, Vanessa Hudgens, Lindsay Lohan … even Tupac!!
Say what now? The late rapper appeared as a hologram (seriously).
Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre brought Tupac Shakur back from the dead for a showstopping finale to the first Coachella weekend on Sunday night.
Shakur appeared as a hologram on the festival stage after a tribute performance of his hit California Love and the late star ‘teamed up’ with Snoop on Ain’t Nothin’ Like A Gangsta Party after an eerie solo rendition of Hail Mary from beyond the grave.
The ghostly apparition drew mixed reactions from those watching the set online, with one fan calling it “wrong on so many levels” and others stunned by the Tupac trick, tweeting, “WTF!”
But most rap fans were thrilled, with many paying tribute to Shakur and others stating, “This is dope,” and, “This is unbelievable”. And one fan tweeted, “I told y’all Tupac wasn’t dead!”
They’d swapped hits to a crowd who grew up with them, and did so with 20 years of friendship and collaboration between them, so that when they traded lines it was like they were finishing each other’s sentences. And, in a sense, they were: The 1991 classic “Deep Cover” was Dr. Dre’s first post-N.W.A release and it featured Snoop’s first-ever appearance on record.
While the crowd seems happy, critical response has been mixed. Watching the cameo on YouTube, the whole thing seems downright creepy—particularly when Snoop Dogg joins him on stage and addresses the Shakur hologram as though he were a real person. While the audio for the hologram is mostly provided by recordings of Shakur, some amount of vocal impersonation seems to have been used: When Shakur first appears on stage, he shouts “What the fuck is up, Coachella?” To which one wants to reply, “Good question, hologram of Tupac Shakur.
It’s hard sometimes to remember how strange and wily Snoop’s first recorded rhymes were: they slithered through Dre’s G-funk beats with a laid-back grace that was the polar opposite of the aggrieved New York style of the time as put forward by Public Enemy, LL Cool J and Brand Nubian. Snoop’s flow was as immediately recognizable as Dre’s beats, and it’s one reason why he’s remained relevant for two decades.
Judging from the video, the holographic animation of Shakur had a 3D quality, and the best part is when the rapper throws down along with Snoop Dogg, in an obviously choreographed moment, but it looks very cool. Shakur joined in on performances of “Come With Me,” “Hail Mary” and “Gangsta Party.” He greeted the crowd with a “What up, Coachella!”
Commercials have used computer generated imagery to reanimate long dead celebrities, but this live performance could mean a windfall for the estates of deceased performers, particularly other musicians. For bands that have had members who have died, this technology could be used for reunion tours.