Exclusive: We Shared The Stage With The Tupac Hologram
Warren G and Kendrick Lamar, who performed with Dr. Dre and Snoop at Coachella, tell MTV News about rapping alongside a virtual legend.
By Rob Markman
Kendrick Lamar was just a wide-eyed kid when he first saw Tupac Shakur in the flesh, so when he watched ‘Pac’s posthumous, holographic performance at Coachella on Sunday, all those old feelings came rushing back.
“It just let you know that this dude was great and he’ll live forever when you got people that’s willing to go out and spend damn near millions to make a hologram on you,” Kendrick told MTV News on Tuesday (April 17). “It was just a crazy feeling, made me think of that one moment when I seen dude in real life.”
K.Dot remembers watching ‘Pac film a scene from his “California Love” video in Compton, California, in the mid-1990s, catching his only a glimpse of the beloved rap hero before he was murdered in 1996. Last weekend’s Coachella concert was a reminder.
“When I finally got to see it along with the other hundred thousand people, it was just something that I didn’t think nobody could ever do,” Kendrick said of Dr. Dre’s stunt. “I didn’t even know this dude was thinking up no crazy sh– like that.”
The young MC wasn’t just a spectator; he also took part in the festivities, performing his new single “The Recipe” withDr. Dre at Coachella. “The moment that Dre and Snoop walked out on that stage, I knew it was something way bigger than what I imagined it to be,” he said.
Warren G, on the other hand, has seen it all. The G-Funk regulator was part of the original Death Row posse and released a ton of classic records alongside Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. Warren also knew Tupac personally, so seeing the holographic incarnation of Makaveli was a bit surreal. “When I first seen it when we were in rehearsal, it gave me chills,” he said. “I was like, ‘Whoa, wow,’ because it looked like him, it talked like him, it just moved like him, it’s just like, ‘Damn.’ It was a trip.”
Rumors swirled that there would also be a holographic version of the late Nate Dogg at Coachella, but Warren told MTV News that he had no knowledge of it. He was open to the possibility of seeing his old friend resurrected in concert, however.
“We worked with Dr. Dre on this, and it was Dre’s vision to bring this back to life,” Nick Smith — president of AV Concepts, the San Diego company that projected and staged the image — exclusively told MTV News on Monday. “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.”
Warren believes that the holographic technology used to bring ‘Pac to the stage can be a powerful tool in uniting different rap factions. Ultimately he hopes the excitement surrounding Dre and Snoop’s Coachella performance can spawn a bigger tour and possibly lead to a similar stunt starring the Notorious B.I.G.
“That would be dope for Puffy to come on and we just do one of the biggest, majorest tours ever where it happens like that,” he said. “He could go out and do the same thing, but it would be dope to do it together.”
Would you go see a late star on tour as a hologram? Let us know in the comments!