Rapper Tupac Shakur rises from the dead and wows Coachella 2012 and the world

Rapper Tupac Shakur rises from the dead and wows Coachella 2012 and the world

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

On September 7, 1996, American artist and rapper Tupac Amaru Shakur was shot four times in Las Vegas, Nevada. Tupac died six days later on September 13, 1996. A son of Harlem, he was one of the best-selling music artists in the world.

But death can’t keep a legendary rap star down – not Tupac Shakur. Tupac (aka 2Pac, Pac and Makavli) performed on stage this last weekend at the Coachella Valley 2012 Music and Arts Festival. His performance also included a duet with rapper and record producer Snoop Dog (Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr.) and Dr. Dre (Andre Romelle Young).

Tupac Shakur, Coachella 2012

Was it really Tupac? Is Tupac Shakur alive? That’s what people all over the world are wondering. But that’s not all people are wondering.

In fact, it was a hologram of Tupac Shakur that performed at Coachella. The hologram was created by a British Holographic Effects company, Musion. This was not the first time a hologram of a celebrity was used in entertainment, but it may be the first time that a hologram of a deceased artist was used to entertain a large, live audience.

The technology, however, is not what is interesting. What is interesting is the use of the technology to bring back the dead and the emotional impact of such use. According to the Press, permission (I’m glad to hear) was granted by Tupac’s mother .

The Independent reports Questlove (Ahmir Khalib Thompson) of The Roots saying, “That Pac hologram haunted me in my sleep”. Rihanna (Robyn Rihanna Fenty) tweeted: “#TupacBACK #unbelievable”.

What others are saying on Twitter (selected sample):

I’m Sorry Ms.Jackson: Tupac Hologram Full Performance Coachella 2012 Looks So Real

Wall Street Journal: Tupac, the rapper who died in 1996, could go on tour — via hologram.

Tyler Lemco: What if this whole “hologram” thing is just part of the plot to ease people into the real Tupac coming back?

Marley: Cant get over that tupac hologram. His performance was better than most alive rappers today

Moses: Pleased to announce that hologram Tupac will be performing in two weeks at my nephew Sheldon’s Bar Mitzvah.

Tom Gara: Yesterday I saw holographic Tupac. Today I’m at a conference panel on private-sector space exploration. Good time to be alive.

Chris Angel: That hologram looked a little too good. Just to be safe, I dug him up and bashed his skull in. We’re now completely safe from Zombie Tupac

Le Monde: Tupac est mort, son fantôme chante encore http://goo.gl/jI96K

The world-wide reactions are wide-ranging: awe, excitement, anger, inappropriate humor, and much more. In other words, the whole world has been moved. These are interesting times, indeed.

Another interesting thing to me is that the mainstream media has profoundly failed to capture the picture of how Tupac’s performance has touched people – a picture that is painted powerfully by the many, individual voices of social and citizen media.

Stan Faryna
18 April 2012
Bucharest, Romania


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Within 48 hours, I counted 10s of millions of Youtube views of the Tupac Hologram performance. Beyond the hologram, video comments from ordinary people about the Coachella spectacle were getting 10s of thousands of views. Here’s a sample of some of the less popular Youtube comments:


Comment about the Tupac Hologram by 

Tupac live at Coachella 2012 by 

Tupac Hologram Performance Coachella 2012 Reaction by 


2Pac Hologram at Coachella 2012 = Deathploitation??? by 

2Pac Coachella 2012 Reaction performance by 

2Pac LIVE at Coachella 2012 by 

Tupac Hologram Perfomance Coachella 2012 Reaction by 

Tupac Back? Commentary on 2pac’s Hologram Performance at Coachella 2012 by 

(OMG TUPAC ALIVE) 100% Best Proof Tupac alive At Coachella by 

Tupac Shakur Live Coachella 2012 by 


7 Responses to Rapper Tupac Shakur rises from the dead and wows Coachella 2012 and the world

  1. […] Rapper Tupac Shakur rises from the dead and wows Coachella 2012 and the world […]

  2. […] Rapper Tupac Shakur rises from the dead and wows Coachella 2012 and the world […]

  3. […] Rapper Tupac Shakur rises from the dead and wows Coachella 2012 and the world […]

  4. Hi Stan,

    That was a brilliant feat by Musion. Very, very cool 🙂 I love this kind of stuff.

    As I mentioned in my reply to your comments at my place, The other night my teenage son said, “Mom, Dad I have to show you something!” While the YouTube video loaded we were wondering what in the heck it could be. Then we saw Mr. Tupac. Well, my son had us for a brief moment in time. Then it seemed almost ghost-like.

    And you are so right, the emotional impact is pretty amazing. I’m waiting for the new Nirvana tour now.

    Oh and here come the Elvis concerts in Vegas 😉

    • Stan Faryna says:

      Your story confirms how EPIC this is. How it touches so many beyond what we can see through social media and the mainstream media. The Tupac hologram effect transcends all commentary. I’m thinking about the conversations happening in cafes, schools, noodle shops, street corners, and everywhere. How people think about feel about what happened – that’s the story here.

  5. As a technological feat, it is amazing.

    As a sign of the times, it is one of the most depressing things, ever.

    I’ll be honest with you. I only find Shakur and artists like himself good at making money. His music is definitely not meant for my ears. I don’t find him especially talented or relevant. While he racked up big bucks, many people of superior skill were simply giving up or giving in — because, as a collective, people like what makes them numb.

    The only revolutionary thing here is the use of technology. Cutting-edge technology employed to revive a herald of capitalism-in-a-bottle.

    This is a bad omen. I have to agree, it’s an emotional moment for everyone. But I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t clarify my position. This is one development I cannot praise.

    Tupac, to me, is nothing but an apostle of alienation. Bringing him back like this says a lot about our culture. A lot.

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