Okay, I’ll admit that it was kind of cool to see a hologram of 2Pac “perform” on stage with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre at Coachella. No wonder the visual-effects group Digital Domain Media, the driving force behind the spectacle, won a visual effects Oscar for their work featured in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. They are undoubtedly good at what they do, but already I can tell that the novelty might be wearing thin sooner than I imagined.
Indeed, as Digital Domain's chief creative officer, Ed Ulbrich, explained to the Wall Street Journal, "This is just the beginning. Dre has a massive vision for this." This massive vision seems to include taking the virtual ‘Pac on the road with he and Snoop Dogg. Such a move would require many months of planning, but even if Hologram Hip-Hop doesn’t make its debut on tour later this year, there’s another group itching to bring a dead entertainer back to the stage through this virtual medium.
The surviving members of the Jackson 5 – Jermaine, Jackie, Tito and Marlon – just announced that they are regrouping to launch the Unity Tour 2012, a 27-date excursion set to kick off this June in Louisville. No offense to the guys, but a Jackson 5 tour without Michael Jackson feels like a chicken sandwich without the bird. Perhaps they, too, realize this, which is why they’re already hinting that a hologram of Michael Jackson might be on the horizon.
On the idea of bringing Michael back the way Dre and Snoop delivered 2Pac to audiences recently, Jackie Jackson told E! News, "It could have Michael—absolutely. Wouldn't that be wonderful? As a matter of fact, we had that idea two years ago for Michael's Cirque du Soleil show."
Sure, you did, Jackie.
With all due respect to the guys and their pursuit of a payday, if Michael Jackson alive wasn’t planning to hit the road with them, why do so with him Who Framed Roger Rabbit? style?
Not to be outdone, there’s interest in bringing back late Wu-Tang Clan member Ol’ Dirty Bastard using the same technology, too. Raekwon was asked about Dr. Dre’s now infamous set in an interview with VIBE. He said, "That was brilliant. I tip my hat to Dre because it really shows the sense of love he had for Pac. Just to see someone do it for the first time ever. We only seen sh*t like that on TV."
When asked about bringing back the ODB that way, Raekwon said, "It made me think about Ol' Dirty, too. I would definitely have to have a understanding with his moms. I think it all starts with [her] respect level. If [she] want us to do it and they feel like it's cool that's when we would continue to move on and do that. I wouldn't jump up out of the blue and just say 'yo, I want to reincarnate your son this way.' I think it's important that you give moms respect for her son."
You can’t help but appreciate that level of respect. Still, y’all have to cut this out before it gets out of hand. Is the current music industry talent pool that shallow that we're dying to see dead people “perform?” Wait, don’t answer that question. Point is, while it was amusing the first time around, I can already tell people are going to get carried away. Let’s not make this a regular thing, y’all. I understand the notion of taking nostalgia to new and pretty strange heights, but we have YouTube and DVD concerts for a reason.