Forget Instagram, y’all. (Sorry, Zuckerberg.) After the mind-blowing rapper resurrection at Coachella on Sunday night, it’s all about Hologram! Tupac’s thug life likeness was beamed onto main stage in a “Hail Mary” 2.0 performance that had festival goers flippin’ their fanny packs and my Facebook feed blowin’ up with various vids of America’s most wanted gangsta ghost.
And even though holograms have been around for a hot minute (remember Princess Leia in Star Wars?!), this eye-poppin’ performance not only breathed new life into the much missed Makaveli, but also the forgotten magic of this rad technology. So in honor of all this hologram hype, we’re bringing y’all our Top 5 Hottest Hologram Performances — and don’t worry, we’re throwing in a little Action on each one.
+ Tupac Takes Coachella 2012: Thug Future
The face-melting footage of a Tupac-gram spittin’ old school flows with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre was clearly every hip-hop head’s wet dream. (Welllll, the West Coast ones fo sho.) And now the never-dead hip-hop legend might be going on tour?! Say it with me now: that s*** cray. It’s gotta be “poetic justice” that this beloved bard of the streets was revived during National Poetry Month as Tupac literally co-starred with Janet Jackson in a movie of the same name that featured poems by the amazing Maya Angelou. There’s also the tribute album called The Rose That Grew In The Concrete which was released in 2000 and featured Russell Simmons, Q-Tip and Rashida Jones reading Pac’s poetry as well. And after his “death” in 1996, his activist mother started the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation to support young creative talent through essay contests, charity events, a performing arts day camp for teenagers and undergraduate scholarships. We’re glad his “Dear Mama” is keeping the intellectual MC’s legacy alive with more than a high-tech illusion!
+ Gorillaz at 2005 MTV Europe Music Awards: 2D Goes 3D
The musical and visual brainchild of Blur frontman Damon Albarn and “Tank Girl” animator James Hewlett became the most successful virtual band of all-time, captivating the world with super catchy collabs and trippy music videos featuring their wonderfully weird cartoon alter egos. But it wasn’t until the MTV Europe Music Awards in 2005 that Gorillaz decided to unveil their creation to a live audience. Billed as the “world’s first 3D hologram performance,” fans got to experience the planet’s most popular “primated” musicians projected on-stage in a whole new dimension. Besides pioneering the technology that would bring back Pac, these talented dudes also took their epic show to Syria to benefit UNICEF’s “Refocus” program that trains local youth in developing nations how to take photographs. Now that’s “Feel Good, Inc.” right?!
+Madonna at 2006 Grammys: Hung Up on Holograms
Inspired by the Gorillaz hella cool hologram gigs, Madonna decided to share the stage with the virtual mega band during a special mash-up performance on music’s biggest night back in 2006. The leotarded Material Girl actually materialized next to the iconic cartoon group as they played the opening riffs of her “Hung Up” song and then the real Madge popped up to kick off a flesh-and-blood dance party. Pretty amazeballs, right? Even though the bionic pop queen (have you seen those arm muscles?!) is over 50, she’s still surprising us — on and off stage. Like using her legendary badass status to establish Raising Malawi, a nonprofit created to relieve poverty among the nation’s 1.4 million orphans and struggling children. MDNA #FTW!
+ will.i.am on Election Night 2008: Beam Me Up, Anderson Cooper
CNN decided to switch it up on the historic eve of Obama’s Presidential election win, so instead of doing an old school-style interview with the pop rapper — who was especially stoked as his “Yes We Can” viral video added a celeb-studded boost to Barack’s bid for the White House — the network decided to host a hologram of the political MC. Was it totally weird? Pretty much. Did Anderson Cooper seem completely wigged out? Yup. Was will.i.am so geeked out that he dropped a “Star Wars” reference? Totes. Yeah, it was super #awkward but you gotta give it up to the Black Eyed Peas frontman for always being willing to try something new when it comes to raising his voice, and his image, for the causes he cares about.
+ Beyonce at the 2011 Billboard Awards: Girls Run This Hologram
Before she created hip-hop’s most anticipated offspring, Destiny’s child grown-ass woman had some practice reproducing herself — and she did it on live TV while rockin’ a metallic onesy. Obvi. With a massive digital screen as her performance playground, the irreplaceable artist accepted her prestigious Millennium Award by putting on a mind-blowin’ girl power show. Her performance included an entire army of holographic Beyonces marching to her amped up tune of female empowerment. Watching that futuristic display of lady solidarity just now makes me wanna text Hillary, y’all! And the best part of this diva digi gig? The opening tribute featuring her proud parents, Lady Gaga, Bono, and The First Lady all giving Mrs. Knowles-Carter mad love for being a fierce role model for females everywhere and taking time to give back. Yup, we know who runs this motha!
Check out Tupac's Real Legacy
Holograms are kewl, but giving back is the best way to honor Tupac!
Learn About MDNA's Org
Learn more about Madonna's Raising Malawi initiative.