The return of the West Coast hip-hop legend was just about the only thing that could’ve topped all of the Hip Hop royalty on one stage including special guests Eminem, 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar, Warren G and Wiz Khalifa.
We’ve learned from the company responsible for the hologram, it was all Dr. Dre’s idea.
The resurrection of ‘Pac, who was murdered in 1996, would have been a face-melting surprise had word about the stunt not leaked out just a few days before the set. But the 100,000 or so fans who were on hand still couldn’t believe it when Tupac materialized on stage to rip off “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted.”
“What up, Coachella?” the shirtless, pants sagging MC asked the crowd before bouncing into the classic single “Hail Mary.”
“We worked with Dr. Dre on this and it was Dre’s vision to bring this back to life,” said Nick Smith, president of AV Concepts, the San Diego company that created the hologram. “It was his idea from the very beginning and we worked with him and his camp to utilize the technology to make it come to life.”
The company has the ability to recreate long-dead figures and visually recreate them in the studio. “You can take their likenesses and voice and … take people that haven’t done concerts before or perform music they haven’t sung and digitally recreate it,” he said.
The Tupac hologram was several months in the planning and took nearly four months to create in a studio and though Smith was not able to reveal the exact price tag for the illusion, he said a comparable one could cost anywhere from $100,000 to more than $400,000 to pull off.
“I can’t say how much that event cost, but I can say it’s affordable in the sense that if we had to bring entertainers around world and create concerts across the country, we could put [artists] in every venue in the country,” he said.
The hologram, of course, already has a Twitter page and more than 3,300 followers at press time. A spokesperson for Dr. Dre could not be reached for additional comment.