Tupac Hologram

Tupac Hologram

Updated Feb 06, 2013 at 09:11PM EST by Don.

Added Apr 17, 2012 at 04:56PM EDT by Don.

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Tupac Hologram is a Pepper’s ghost[3] optical illusion of the deceased rapper Tupac Amaru Shakur that premiered during a performance at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Although the event was widely reported as a hologram projection, it was actually created using similar technology to that of the Japanese virtual pop star Hatsune Miku.


Shakur’s Death

Tupac Shakur was a west-coast rapper who rose to fame in the early 1990s. On September 7th, 1996, Shakur attacked Southside Crips member Orlando Anderson at the lobby of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. After the fight, Shakur was shot by unknown assailants while riding in the passenger seat of producer Marion “Suge” Knight’s 1996 black BMW 750iL sedan. According to Forbes magazine[23], Shakur is one of the top-earning dead celebrities of all time.

Coachella Performance

On April 15th, 2012, during the first weekend of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, an animated projection of Shakur appeared on stage as part of a live set with rappers Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre. During the performance, the projection rapped along with a recording of the 1996 single “Hail Mary.”

While not actually a hologram, the Shakur display was created using a mid-19th century illusionary technique known as the “Pepper’s ghost”, which projects images on to a plate of glass at an angle to create an optical illusion. The International Business Times[5] released an infographic outlining how the illusion was created using Musion system Ltd.’s Musion Eyeliner projection setup.

Notable Developments

News Media Coverage

On April 16th, the Coachella performance was covered as a “hologram” by various news media outlets including The Guardian[11], Forbes[12], Rolling Stone[13], BBC[14], The Independent[15] and The Huffington Post.[16] The following day, Gawker[1] writer Neetzan Zimmerman reported that rappers Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre were planning on taking the hologram Tupac on tour. The same day, The Telegraph[22] writer Neil McCormick posted an op-ed piece arguing that the projection technology will lead to the death of the live entertainment industry. On April 18th, E! Online[21] reported that a projection of the late recording artist Michael Jackson may go on tour with his brothers.

Online Reaction

On April 16th, a link to the Coachella YouTube channel was submitted to the /r/Music[6] subreddit in a post titled “Hologram of Tupac. That is all.” The post reached the front page, receiving over 2,700 up votes within two days. The same day, the @HologramTupac[7] fake Twitter account was created and the Internet humor site College Humor[2] posted a round-up of hologram Tupac animated GIFs.

The following day, the pop music blog Pop Dust[8] posted an image of a mock 2013 Coachella poster featuring deceased artists for an all-hologram lineup (shown below). On April 18th, MTV[9] published an article titled “Tupac Takes Over The Web Through Hologram-Inspired Memes”, which covered the various online conversations surrounding the Coachella performance.

Several Facebook[17] pages for “Hologram Tupac” have been created, with one page[18] reaching over 375 likes as of April 18th, 2012.

Notable Images

Image macros, photoshops and animated GIFs have continued to spread on sites like Reddit[19] and Tumblr.[20]

Notable Videos

Shortly after the performance, parody and reaction videos began appearing on YouTube.

Search Interest

External References

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Recent Images 42 total

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