Final Word

By Jeff Girod

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Posted April 26, 2012 in News
Tupac lives! The iconic rapper who was gunned down 15 years ago and once made getting “Thug Life” tattooed across one’s stomach fashionable—a drunken St. Patrick’s Day I still regret—made a surprise “live” appearance at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival the past two weekends.

Joining Snoop Dogg for a closing performance on Sunday night, a hologram of a muscle-bound, shirtless Tupac Shakur raised a microphone and shouted to fans, “What the f@*k up, Coachella?”

What the f@*k up, indeed—because the Coachella festival wasn’t created until 1999, about three years after Tupac’s death.

The special effects used to feature Tupac aren’t technically even a hologram. It’s a complex reflection technique developed by Hollywood company Digital Domain, requiring a special 2-D screen and CGI that costs up to $400,000. But “hologram” is easier to write. And if you have a problem with the technical jargon, just know that the real Tupac would probably bust a cap in yo‘ nerdy little ass.

As a practical joke, it would have been funny to wheel the CGI projector in front of Puff Daddy’s house and ring the doorbell, then watch him dribble Häagen-Dazs ice cream all over his Gucci slippers, convinced Tupac had returned Kill Bill-style to resume his East Coast/West Coast blood feud.

For those of us who have been listening to Pac since the ol‘ “dayz”—and I’m as “OG” as a 39-year-old white male can get who buys his dress shirts at Kohl’s, cruises suburban Corona with a baby seat and every night downs a Prilosec with warm milk—there was something disconcerting about hearing Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg excited about the possibility of “touring” in the future with the recently resuscitated Tupac.

Um . . . Tupac hated both Dre and Snoop Dogg by the time he was gunned down at 24. And that’s not speculation. Just listen to “Watch Ya Mouth,” a recently surfaced song by Tupac (for a dead guy, Pac logs more studio time than The Wiggles) where he raps that Dre “ain’t made a beat in six years” and “Dre can’t fuck with this.”

One of Tupac’s more popular rap hooks is “My only fear of death is coming back reincarnated.” And I doubt Tupac’s last Earthly thought was, “If I have but one regret, it’s that I won’t live long enough to co-headline a three-day desert musical fest with something called Girl Talk and The Airplane Boys.”

Not that I’m opposed to raising Tupac from the grave. Heck no! Why let something like accuracy or taste get in the way of making a buck off a murdered corpse?

I’d like to see Hologram Tupac used for all sorts of things: Rappin‘ in movie theaters to remind people to turn off their cell phones, rappin‘ on freeways to warn drivers to slow for the cone zone, rappin‘ at Vons Pavilion to alert shoppers that there’s no waiting in the self-checkout line . . . The possibilities are endless, yo!

And why stop at Tupac? Resurrect hologram Chick Hearn to announce Lakers games; skinny hologram Stephen Seagal for action movies; pre-pregnancy hologram Heidi Klum for the next Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue; pre-sellout, likeable hologram Lebron James in a Cleveland Cavaliers uniform; hopeful hologram President Obama when we all still thought he could fix the economy.

There’s too much reality in my reality. It would be great if someone would create a hologram that stretches from the edge of my bed to everywhere I need to go, like a yellow brick road filled with sugar plum fairies and perfectly rounded, immortal projections.

Replace all the old, ugly and negative. Don’t like it? You can be a hologram, too. And make everything a comfy 72 degrees and taste like milk chocolate or bacon.

Bring back all my dead pets and grandparents. Well, not that one hamster. He could be kind of a dick.

In all seriousness, there’s one question we all had simultaneously when we saw Hologram Tupac hopping around Coachella: Dead ’90s rappers in 3-D glory are all well and good, but when can we have sex with it?

Much love to Tupac Shakur, but my only fear of death is not living to see hologram 1970s Lynda Carter dressed as Wonder Woman.

Contact Jeff Girod at finalword@ieweekly.com.


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