He may be dead, but that hasn't stopped Tupac Shakur from stealing the show at the 2012 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 13. Nearly 16 years after he was gunned down at age 25, the iconic California MC appeared with his Death Row cronies Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg during their all-star set through the magic of technology, as a gruff, tatted-up hologram. Snoop and Dre got current - and living - hip-hop superstars like Eminem, Wiz Khalifa, and 50 Cent to perform during the set, but it was pretend 'Pac's appearance that got the Web - which wasn't even really a thing when the rapper was alive - abuzz.
Decked out in a computer-generated chain and digital desert boots, e-Pac started with a rendition of "Hail Mary" from his final album, "The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory." The hologram 'Pac also shouted out Coachella fans and riled up the crowd in a convincing version of the MC's throaty, fiery voice. Then a somewhat stiff "Shakur" joined Snoop for their '96 collabo "2 of Amerika's Most Wanted." And just as the crowd seemed to be getting used to the technology-assisted performance from beyond the grave, "Tupac" evaporated into a flash of light.
See the whole video of the performance at Entertainment Weekly. Note: the video contains strong language.
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ContributorsSarah Rodman is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.
James Reed is a staff music critic for the Boston Globe.
Jonathan Perry is the Globe's Scene & Heard columnist, covering local music.
Michael Brodeur is the assistant arts editor for the Boston Globe, covering pop music, TV, and nightlife.
Julian Benbow is a staff writer at the Boston Globe, covering sports and music.
Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.
Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.
Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer at Boston.com.