Could a ghost of rap’s past soon take the stage at a stadium near you? Perhaps, if Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg are able to nail down the logistics of touring with a virtual Tupac Shakur.
Sources reportedly close to the matter recently told the Wall Street Journal discussions are under way for such an outing.
One possibility would include a stadium trek featuring other big-name rappers such as Eminem, 50 Cent and Wiz Khalifa, the paper said, while another would feature a more intimate setup with Dre, Snoop and the virtual Tupac in smaller arenas.
The virtual Tupac made its debut during Coachella, where Digital Domain Media Group created a holographic projection of the rapper to join Snoop and Dre onstage.
“To create a completely synthetic human being is the most complicated thing that can be done,” Digital Domain Chief Creative Officer Ed Ulbrich told the Journal.
“This is not found footage,” he said. “This is not archival footage. This is an illusion. … Dre has a massive vision for this.”
The illusion featured computer-generated images of Tupac that were developed based on recorded performance footage. The images were then projected onto a screen that reflected onto an angled piece of mylar film, creating a vertical, holographic looking image, according to projection company AV Concepts’ website.