Coachella 2012: Snoop Dogg Resurrects Tupac Shakur Via Hologram (Video)
UPDATED: The rapper's epic Sunday night set also included in-the-flesh appearances by Dr. Dre, Eminem, 50 Cent and Wiz Khalifa.
They don’t call him the Doggfather for nothing. Who else can command such high caliber guests as Dr. Dre, Eminem, 50 Cent, Wiz Khalifa and… Tupac Shakur?
That’s right, Snoop Dogg’s Sunday night Coachella closer was a monster of a set that featured many of hip-hop’s greatest hits and its biggest stars, one of whom died more than 15 years ago. Tupac arrived via hologram, seamlessly -- and amazingly -- joining Snoop on “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted” and performing "Hail Mary."
The late rapper was one of more than a handful of hip-hop luminaries that whipped the crowd into a frenzy from kick-off at 10:35 p.m. to just before midnight. Snoop and Dre were billed from the get-go, and Eminem was expected but throughout the 90-minute set, the names kept on coming. From Tony Yayo to Warren G and Kurupt to 50 Cent, who delivered his hit “In Da Club.” He followed Wiz Khalifa, who arrived to light up the stage -- and a massive joint (see photo below) -- with Snoop on their radio smash, “Young, Wild & Free,” while Eminem helped out with “Forgot About Dre,” “I Need a Doctor” and his own “Till I Collapse.”
But the highlight, besides the dozen-plus mentions of marijuana (it’s California, after all), was the spirit of Shakur, who greeted the crowd with a “what up, Coachella!” Bare-chested, buff and rocking what looked like a pair of acid-washed jeans circa 1995, the hologram set Twitter on fire, as hundreds of Coachella attendees along with many thousands more watching a live feed on YouTube, tweeted in awe and disbelief.
Among the comments registered in the moments after: “i can't even begin to imagine what this Tupac hologram is doing to all the people at Coachell that have been on acid for 3 days straight,” wrote @JordanETID
Tweeted @KirillWasHere: "Next year Coachella should just have a HOLOGRAM TENT featuring all the acts that we wish we got to see live...," while @Swagstro offered this thought: "I wonder how many rappers retired from seeing the Tupac hologram on COACHELLA."
Still, some in the crowd found it unsettling. "Was completely freaked out by the Tupac hologram and I'm fairly certain I was one of five people out of 100,000 not on drugs," tweeted @molly_knight.
After Dr. Dre was lowered into the stage as his final bow, eccentric artist @HarMarSuperstar cracked, "Dre and Snoop just got lowered into cryogenic freezing chambers. They'll perform again at Coachella 2025."
In no time, Tupac, Pac, hologram and "Hail Mary" were trending in addition to #snoopndre and Coachella.
A repeat is likely in store for next weekend as the Coachella festival returns to Indio’s Empire Polo Field with three more days of music and identical acts.
Some 75,000 were expected to attend weekend one. According to an Indio Police spokesman, 98 concert goers have been arrested, mostly on alcohol- and drug-related charges.
That was certainly not the case onstage during Snoop’s set, however, as the rapper freely puffed on a blunt. As the song goes, “California, knows how to party.”
Watch the Tupac performance below:
For the record: In a previous version of this story, The Hollywood Reporter misquoted a lyric from "California Love" and erroneously referred to the songs "2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted" by the name "Gangsta Party" and "Hail Mary" as "Come With Me."