The hologram image of legendary rapper Tupac Shakur that rocked the Coachella main stage could go on tour with an all-star lineup, several media outlets reported Monday.
When they performed Sunday, headliners Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg brought with them a powerful cast of hip hop and rap stars: Eminem, 50 Cent, Warren G, Wiz Khalifa and Kendrick Lamar.
Tupac, though, was the one who stole the show — more than 15 years after the rapper, one of the best selling music artists in history, was shot and killed.
During a five-minute performance, Tupac appeared to rise from the main stage and yell: “What the (expletive) is up, Coachella?”
The shirtless Tupac — complete with his signature tattoos, low-riding jeans and Timberland boots — worked the stage at the Empire Polo Grounds as he rapped with the real-life Snoop Dogg.
After their repeat performance next weekend, Dre and Snoop Dogg could go on tour with the “virtual Tupac,” and possibly Eminem, 50 Cent and Wiz Khalifa, the Wall Street Journal reported.
“This is just the beginning,” Digital Domain’s chief creative officer, Ed Ulbrich, told WSJ on Monday. “Dre has a massive vision for this.”
The hologram from the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is the first one ever to “perform” a new song, one that was not based on archival footage, according to multiple media reports.
The illusion was created by projecting three stacked images of Tupac onto a 30-foot by 13-foot screen that quietly descended onto stage during the set, the New York Daily News reported.
The unprecedented illusion rocked the online world Monday, with major news and entertainment sites — including Billboard, E! Online, MTV and Rollingstone — weighing in.
It has been a trending topic on Twitter since the moment Tupac rose onto the stage, and more than 13,000 people have followed the Twitter account HologramTupac.
“Tupac at Coachella is crazy, dope and sends chills through my body! Make sure y’all check that out. Looks 2 real!” basketball star LeBron James tweeted after the performance.
Dr. Dre — who is widely credited as the mastermind behind the illusion — has not granted interviews on it, and no one has explained how Tupac appeared to say “Coachella.”
The illusion cost anywhere from $100,000 to more than $400,000, the president of the San Dieg-based AV Concepts told MTV News.
“We worked with Dr. Dre on this and it was Dre’s vision to bring this back to life,” MTV quoted president Nick Smith as saying. “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.”
After his apparent reincarnation on the Indio stage, Tupac froze back in place, with his hands at his side and head down, before dissolving into a quick explosion of light.
WARNING: This video contains expletives.