Suge Knight think 2Pac is Alive-Could You Imagine What Pac Say if he was Here Today??

The past couple of days everyone’s been bugging off the fact that Suge Knight during an interview on LA radio station KDAY asserted that he thinks 2Pac is still alive..He noted that ‘no one has actually seen the body’ and that he gave Pac 3 million dollars in cash just before he perished or in Suge’s case, ‘disappeared’. . We think Suge just said that all this to get everyone talking about him..

Over the years the former Death Row CEO has long been coy about all the rumors and speculation of Pac being alive.. The mystique around this has been nothing but beneficial for Suge and many others in the industry. Pac was our Elvis, who has also been rumored to still be alive. I’m sure at the end of the day Suge has a project or two coming down the pipe..He of all people knows better..

On the other hand, it’s interesting seeing the huge amount of interest Suge’s remarks have garnered because it speaks to a much bigger issue. One has got to take note about all the fame, fortune and popularity 2Pac has garnered in death vs being alive. Why are some of our best and brightest worth more dead than alive?  Are dead Black artists ‘safer’? Are they more ‘controlled’? Does their absence represent huge voids in the type of leadership, many may be yearning for?

So many really want 2Pac to be around. They want him to be alive, because in contrast to many others who have that level of popularity,  Pac was one to speak out forcefully and unapologetically to keen issues of the day.

While it was great seeing the video of his hologram, for those of us who knew Pac it was too limiting. By that I mean, think about what 2Pac would’ve said before tens of thousands of people today in 2012 if he was alive and on stage at Coachella. he would’ve done more than hype the crowd.. You don’t think 2Pac wouldn’t have seized the moment and spoke on the Trayvon Martin situation? I could hear Pac speaking out loud and forcefully about George Zimmerman and his weak apology. You don’t think Pac would’ve put President Obama on blast for reneging on promises or not speaking out enough on keen issues facing young Black males?

People keep forgetting that a couple of months before 2Pac died he, Snoop and MC Hammer spoke at an NAACP Press conference in Beverly Hills, where they promised to energize and politicize their fans and have them ‘throw monkey wrenches into future elections’.. Pac had long had sharp critiques of those sitting in elected office.

You don’t think Pac would’ve spoken out on all the overt racism coming in the forms of Fox News anchors or far right-wing radio jocks..Heck, one but can’t help thinking that if Pac was around today, he might’ve had some critiques of Suge but that’s another story. The bottom line is many who miss Pac, miss him because he was one of those folks who was down to speak truth to power and do so eloquently.

In the meantime.. check out these clips including one that shows another angle of the ‘2Pac Hologram’ (yes we know it’s not a real hologram). From this angle, I gotta say what appeared on stage the other night in Coachella is really impressive.. I can see why folks are thinking about taking this on tour..You really can’t tell the difference from a real life performer and this ‘hologram’.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMcLaEwkfGc&feature=relmfu

Here’s a couple of videos to check out of 2Pac.. We often forget dude was 25 when he left us..He was already sharp and getting sharper..  He was well on his way to doing bigger and better things..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMi3Zvb9eQo

This is the speech Pac gave at the Malcolm x Grassroots Movement dinner..He was on fire here..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ex4PtkmLvgo&feature=related

Will the 2Pac Hologram Go on Tour?

This week has been adventurous in the world of Hip Hop. Many of us woke up Monday morning enthusiastically talking about the larger than life hologram of the late 2Pac Shakur shown in the middle of a performance of Dr Dre and Snoop Dog at the Coachella Music Festival. It was an incredible feat, and while it was not the first time or specifically unique that a hologram was used, Hip Hop did what it always does… it flipped the script and opened up doors along with people’s minds as to how such a tool could be used from here on out.

It should also be noted that Dr Dre spent close to a 500k on the effect, sought permission and received the blessings from 2Pac’s notoriously protective mother Afeni to do the hologram. She thought it was amazing. I reached out to Pac’s brother Mopreme, he too thought it was great. The big question on everyone’s mind is will the 2Pac hologram go on tour? From what we’re hearing that’s about 90% supposed to happen.. Why wouldn’t that happen considering how much money was spent and the excitement it generated? The bigger question is will this ‘special presentation’ get quickly played out? I don’t think Dr Dre or Afeni will allow that to happen to 2Pac, but there are many music industry executive who see dollars signs before artistic creativity who are known for running things into the ground who might kill this potential golden goose of a technology before it gets off the ground.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajVGIRsKXdo

Some thought the hologram while fascinating was creepy. The thought of bringing 2Pac back to life and having it look so realistic messed with more than few people’s minds. Others  expressed concern that holograms will soon replace live musicians.. Time will tell..

One thing that should be noted, bringing people back to life to ‘perform’ at concerts is not unique. We saw singer Natalie Cole do this 20 years ago in 1992 during the Grammys. Cole did a duet with her deceased father the great Nat King Cole of his signature song ‘Unforgettable‘  People loved it..At that time there was talk of doing more duets where live performers were magically matched with those who were deceased.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THnGZuN0RbE

We saw numerous folks work this formula including P-Diddy who during his concerts would often show his friend the late Notorious BIG on a big screen doing songs like ‘Warning‘. Over the years we’ve seen the late  Big Pun come to life at concerts. Overshadowed by 2Pac’s hologram was the late Nate Dogg who was plastered on the screen performing with Dre and Snoop.

Mos def

With respect to the hologram, not to take anything away from Dre and Snoop’s gallant efforts, but Mos Def beat them to the punch when he appeared before a number of inner city youth last year in Oakland along w/ African-American astronaut Leland Melvin. It was a part of NASA’s ISIS program and the goal was to get kids interested in science. There was a lot of excitement and planning that went into this hologram presentation. The audience was awestruck and inspired.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsmDSBpXwR8

All in all, hats off to Dre, Snoop and the team at Digital Domain Media Group and AV Concepts that put together the hologram effect. DDMG are insistent that people understand that it’s not a true hologram which is 3 dimensional  but a 2 D rendering..It’s based on a 19th century illusion trick  commonly known as Pepper’s Ghost . Many reference performances by Madonna, De La Soul and the Gorillaz  in 2006 as examples of where it was used… In any case it was innovative and we can only hope that spirit of being creative grows.. From what we understand Dr Dre has big visions for the hologram technology.. who knows, maybe that long awaited Detox album will come as a hologram.