The Marquee Blog

Tupac returns as a hologram at Coachella

Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg put on an impressive show at Coachella Sunday, and it included a surprise guest: deceased rapper Tupac Shakur.

The late rapper made his return to the stage from beyond the grave as a hologram during Dre and Snoop's set at the music festival held in Indio, California.

Thanks to the hologram technology, a shirtless Tupac seemed to take the stage, bearing greetings to Dre and Snoop before addressing the audience with, "What the f*** is up Coachella?"

Hologram Pac gave a surprisingly realistic and lively performance of "Hail Mary," followed by "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted" with Snoop. The rapper died in September, 1996 after being shot multiple times by an assailant.

Even though rumors of a hologram had leaked prior to the performance, it was still a jaw-dropping sight, prompting one concertgoer to proclaim, "Now we know Tupac really didn't die. He's been living out in the desert the entire time with all the other retired people."

For many attendees at this year's Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Dr. Dre's set with Snoop was the most highly-anticipated. For the past three years, hip-hop giants have headlined one night of what's essentially a three day celebration of indie and dance music. It started in 2010 with Jay-Z, then continued in 2011 with Kanye West, leaving some to wonder whether Eminem might be back to continue the trend in 2013.

But in 2012, it was all about Dre. The good doctor took the stage in a black t-shirt, black jeans and white sneakers, looking fit and powerful at age 47. Snoop played the role of the genial sideman, reminding a predominantly young, white crowd that Dre was personally responsible for a lot of the hip-hop music they've grown up with - mostly through such protegees as himself, 50 Cent and Eminem.

However, the 70,000 or so gathered at the main Coachella stage didn't need a primer. They sang along loudly on such classic tunes as "Ain't Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang" and "California Love."

At one point, Snoop instructed fans to bounce their hands in front of their faces, saying with amusement, "That looks gangsta."

Wiz Khalifa also made an appearance, performing "Young, Wild & Free" with Snoop, as the two puffed madly on blunts the size of their middle fingers.

50 Cent and G-Unit's Tony Yayo were crowd pleasers, especially when 50 stripped down to his signature wife-beater before a rousing rendition of "In Da Club."

Newcomer Kendrick Lamar held his own with "The Recipe," and veterans Warren G and Kurupt joined Snoop for a tribute to the late Nate Dogg, who sang the hook to many Dre-produced songs. Despite TMZ blasting out an "exclusive" report that Nate Dogg would "perform several songs" via hologram, the only images of Nate were black and white still photos.

As the intro to "I Need a Doctor" blared through the speakers late in the show, Eminem sauntered onto the stage - his face hidden by a gray hoodie - to join up with Dr. Dre. The Detroit superstar and his mentor blazed through "Forgot About Dre," the lead single off Dre's last album, "The Chronic 2001." That CD was released in 1999.

Thirteen years later, Dre continues to work on his follow-up record. When asked when this opus will finally be released, the answer from Dr. Dre and his reps is always one word..."Soon."

Judging from the level of excitement during Sunday night's closing set at Coachella, it appears no one has "Forgot About Dre." Certainly not this batch of hipsters.

Video of Pac's performance is embedded below, but be forewarned that it contains strong language.