(Artwork care of Karen Ramsay (www.karenramsay.com), profile photo care of brianlackeyphotography.com)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Commentary - Tupac Legacy, the reboot?

It's tempting to play Mercutio on the recent spat between Democrats and Ted Nugent ("A plague o' both your houses"), but trolls don't deserve the attention.

On the other hand, I find Coachella's Tupac 2.0 performance very interesting.

It's not so important whether Snoop Dogg and Dr Dre were ripping off Tupac's memory or paying tribute. I'm willing to grant them the benefit of the doubt.

The more interesting question is how this technology will evolve. The Coachella performance was an updated version of the virtual duet. Having Snoop Dogg mix it up with the Tupac projection created an illusion of interaction. I'm sure if they follow through on their plans to tour with Tupac 2.o, we'll get to see reality get shifted more than just giving a shout out to a festival that didn't exist during Tupac's life (Coachella started in 1999, three years after Tupac's death).

The novelty may wear off quickly because Tupac's projection can never capture the charisma of the man, but it will be interesting to see how far they'll take the tech. Theoretically, we're not that far from a virtual Beatles reunion tour or even seeing a concert pairing Jimi Hendrix with Lady Gaga.

Assuming the technology matures enough to create a more off-the-cuff experience, will audiences go for that? More importantly, will concert promoters use it as an excuse to avoid risk by dealing with known quantities? Taken to the extreme, it could be like the movies all over again, where all too many films are rooted in old TV shows, comic books, and personas (The Three Stooges? Really?).

At least when I start losing it, even the music will seem familiar.

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