Opinion
By Séamus Smyth

The Coachella 2012 performance of legendary rappers Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg featured a hologram version of the late Tupac Shakur this past weekend and has received mixed reactions from perplexed fans across the continent.

The digitally-enhanced Tupac busted out “Hail Mary” before lending a hand to Snoop during their classic collaboration of, “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted.” Shakur even roared “Coachella 2012” during the performance, which of course would have been impossible for the original to ever utter for a number of reasons.

The primary argument for why no one should be offended by this futuristic display of reviving the dead is because no one fantasized about a situation such as this exact moment more than Tupac himself. Tupac was like “The Death of a Salesman” hood-style. Every second song was an ode to his impending funeral or a tale of how he was just struggling to survive in an increasingly hostile environment. He didn’t necessarily want to die, but he had crystal clear visions of shots reigning down and he was never afraid to convey these morbid thoughts through dozens of verses.

He even inserted frightening whispers into a number of tracks (most notably “The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory”  album) that predicted his resurrection upon his death.  Many naïve hip-hop fans (including myself) were convinced that he would one day reappear, believing that his death had been one elaborate hoax. Tupac wanted nothing more than an eternal legacy and by constantly mingling with the subject of death and rebirth, he forced his fans and friends to take note.

So with Pac’s obsession with death in mind, it seems that Snoop and Dre may have just paid Tupac the ultimate tribute by revitalizing him in the most realistic shape possible. Ever since Tupac was killed, rappers have obsessed over their own death. Do you know how many would literally kill to have their performance glorified post-death the way Tupac’s was this past weekend? I’m pondering a frightening number best kept outside these pages.

Secondly, no one pays tribute to their dead homies like the west coast. Not only did they have a pants-sagging Pac propped up in 3-D, but they incited “Nate Dogg” chants all evening to ensure that this legend of the hip-hop community shall never be forgotten as well. If it was Elvis Presley or Kurt Cobain being pix-elated for the crowd’s enjoyment then yes, throw tomatoes at the idiots who thought this would be an endearing maneuver. But when it comes from the S-N-double O-P and D.R.E, you have to remember that no one throws a funeral party like a West-side party, because a West-side party clearly doesn’t stop.

Long live Tupac, in which ever form he may appear.

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