Headbangers’ Brawl is a weekly column where Metal Insider’s contributors take a moment to debate and analyze two opposing sides of a topical issue occurring in the world of metal and/or the music industry.
By now, you’ve probably seen or heard about Tupac’s resurrection appearance during Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg’s Coachella performance last weekend in hologram form. Some have found it concerning, while others (even the late rapper’s mother) thought it was amazing. And as it turns out, there’s a strong chance that Hologram Tupac will be hitting the road.
With so much hype surrounding the performance, we decided to debate two things: 1) can we expect more hologram performances from dead musicians?, and 2) is this a good or bad thing?
Zach: I have to agree with Metal Sucks in that this is a bit concerning. Not only would hologram performances be a fake representation of the deceased’s live performance, but it’s also just down right creepy. With that said, I sadly wouldn’t be surprised if more is to come. We might not see a hologram Dio anytime soon, but I’ll be the first to say “told you so” when Michael Jackson’s hologram goes on tour next year.
Bram: I don’t think there’s anything fundamentally wrong with it. I mean, it’s really up to the band members and/or estates of deceased artists. Would Pantera ever consider playing or touring with a hologram Dimebag? Never. It’s also doubtful that Wendy Dio would get behind a hologram of her husband. Will there be KISS holograms touring years after Gene and Paul hang up their makeup? You can bet Gene Simmons’ tongue perked up when he heard about the Tupac hologram. Do you think there will be a glut of fake-resurrected musicians?
Z: I’m not as worried about their being an overflow of deceased metal musicians being turned into holograms. But the idea still weirds me out. I think what really alarmed me about the Tupac-ogram specifically was when he (it?) said “What the fuck is up Coachella!” The festival first launched in 1999… about three year’s after the rapper’s death. Anyone else find it slightly disturbing that they recorded an impersonator to say that? Is this crossing a line?
B: Here’s the thing. I think Dr. Dre is a genius. Coachella 2012 will forever be remembered as the year of the Tupac hologram. Any other artist that does it next will be compared to him. Is that exploitative on Dre’s part? Fuck yeah. But when you consider that Tupac has put out more albums dead than he did alive, it’s not like it’s the first time he’s been exploited. It might be a little over the line, but it was still the most talked-about event of the weekend – once. “Tupac” shouting out Coachella might have been a little skeevy, but it made the performance one of a kind.