Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Ashy Or Classy?!? - Tupac Resurrected For Hipsters At Coachella.

I'll be honest here: I was never the biggest Tupac fan. I don't have any particular reason, other than I really can't relate to Thug Life (I grew up in the country) and never found him to be a particularly fascinating lyricist. Still, I can say I saw him in person once while in college. I also saw Biggie. Watching those two living legends while they were still alive gives me some seriously good stories to relay to my kids.

Of course, Pac's untimely demise in the 1990's robbed an entire generation of the experience I had. But thanks to some very creepy technology, Tupac was resurrected this past weekend at the hipster-friendly Coachella music festival.
The biggest buzz at Sunday's Coachella music festival in California wasn't for a hot new DJ or indie-rock band. It was for Tupac Shakur, the rapper who died more than 15 years ago and "performed" Sunday night alongside Snoop Dogg and producer Dr. Dre.

Internet video of the Sunday evening show became an instant sensation on Monday morning. That response is helping push the possibility of a virtual Tupac tour in coming months.

The rapper's ghostly image was created by Digital Domain Media Group Inc., DDMG +12.29% the visual-effects house responsible for making the virtual versions of Brad Pitt that populated 2008's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." The movie won the Oscar for visual effects.

Representatives for Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg plan to discuss logistics for a tour involving the two performers and the virtual Tupac, according to a person familiar with the discussions.

One option would be a tour in stadiums, involving other hip-hop stars, including Eminem, 50 Cent and Wiz Khalifa. Alternately, they could stage a more limited tour, featuring only Dre, Snoop Dogg and the virtual Tupac, in smaller arenas.

A tour with the virtual Tupac is likely but not guaranteed, said the person familiar with the situation. The nascent plans could fall apart for any number of reasons.

If the tour were to proceed, it would take many months of creative and technical planning, this person added.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, #TupacBack!

Okay, no need to lie. Once you get beyond the ghastly nature of what's happening here, the actual effect itself is pretty awesome, and a true marvel of modern technology. CyberPac™ seems much more like a real person than the video game likeness he actually is. This is some pretty amazing sh*t. So yeah, that part is undeniably Classy.[1]

What's Ashy as hell is the idea of taking CyberPac™ on tour, all in the name of the bottom line. As a one shot deal (no pun intended) this is pretty awesome. But why not just let this die (no pun intended either) at Coachella? If Pac were still alive, would he really wanna be on tour with Wiz Khalifa? Ionno. Likewise, where does this end? Singin' "Hail Mary" and "Nothin' But A Gangsta Party" is cool, but what's stopping CyberPac™ from doing a duet with Katy Perry? Or Justin Bieber? Or David Guetta?

Hell, since this is all about money, why not have CyberPac™ guest host 106 And Park? Courtside at the Heat/Thunder NBA Finals Game 7? Shilling for Miller 64? Where does this all end? That's a mighty slippery slope. I doubt people would be so crazy about those ideas, so why not just put the genie back in the proverbial bottle?

So yeah, this is both Ashy and Classy? One time's fine. Just don't do it again, please.

Question: Ashy or Classy? What do you think of CyberPac™? Should we just let the dead be dead, or is this just another way to keep Pac's legacy alive? Who else would you like to see CyberResurrected™?!?

[1] Oddly, this video also reminds me of just how uninspiring a performer Pac was in concert. By contrast, Biggie was a lot more entertaining.

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