April 17th, 2012
01:58 PM ET
The virtual version of Tupac Shakur might soon take the show on the road.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the technology that made a 2-D illusion of the late rapper appear to perform at Coachella over the weekend created so much chatter that Coachella headliners Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg are reportedly planning to talk over the logistics of a tour. (And as it's a 2-D image and not 3-D, it's technically not a hologram.)
One idea, the paper cites, is to do a smaller tour with just Dre, Snoop and virtual Pac, with another thought being to go big and include other hip-hop stars like Eminem, 50 Cent and Wiz Khalifa, who also performed during Dre and Snoop's Coachella set on Sunday. However, a rep for Dr. Dre tells CNN that any talk about a potential tour is "premature."
Digital Domain Media Group created Pac's eerily accurate virtual image, and the company's chief creative officer explained to the WSJ that Pac's "performance" wasn't based on archival footage or found footage, and instead was an illusion.
The company that projected and staged the image of Tupac for Coachella attendees was the San Diego-based AV Concepts, MTV reports.
"We worked with Dr. Dre on this, and it was Dre's vision to bring this back to life," AV Concepts president Nick Smith told MTV. "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.... 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 re-create it."
The reaction to the technology has been mixed: Some were awe-struck by Tupac's ghostly image, while others were disturbed by the idea of the artist being "resurrected" to entertain from beyond the grave nearly 16 years after his death. But concerned fans may be happy to know that Tupac's mother, Afeni Shakur, is reportedly pleased with how virtual Pac turned out.
According to TMZ, Dr. Dre first sought Afeni's approval before proceeding with virtual Tupac's Coachella show, and that Afeni found the performance by the virtual version of her son to be "thrilling," but also "bittersweet."
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