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Virtual Tupac Shakur To Go On Tour? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Buzz Media   
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 19:15

Many media outlets and artists thought Tupac Shakur's virtual resurrection at Coachella on Sunday was pretty much the coolest thing ever. The Los Angeles Times, however, called the stunt "a red herring, unnecessary and ill advised." Whichever side of the fence you're on, the projection of the deceased rapper may not be a onetime deal, given the amount of coverage the event has received. And according to one report, Shakur's comrades Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, who staged the so-called hologram (it was actually a 2-D image, not a 3-D one, which constitutes holograms) during their set, could take virtual Tupac out on tour this year.

An insider has revealed to the Wall Street Journal that representatives for Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg plan to discuss logistics for a tour involving the rappers and the virtual Shakur, which was created by San Diego-based company Digital Domain:

"One option would be a tour in stadiums, involving other hip-hop stars, including Eminem, 50 Cent and Wiz Khalifa. Alternately, they could stage a more limited tour, featuring only Dre, Snoop Dogg and the virtual Tupac, in smaller arenas."

"To create a completely synthetic human being is the most complicated thing that can be done, Digital Domain's chief creative officer, Ed Ulbrich, said in an interview with WSJ.  This is not found footage. This is not archival footage. This is an illusion. This is just the beginning. Dre has a massive vision for this."

That said, the publication points out the following, via their source:

"A tour with the virtual Tupac is likely but not guaranteed, said the person familiar with the situation. The nascent plans could fall apart for any number of reasons. If the tour were to proceed, it would take many months of creative and technical planning, this person added."

The Coachella performance was definitely a jaw-dropping moment, and one that may well eclipse anything that happens at the fest this coming weekend. (Even Shakur's scheduled return to the festival.) But will taking a projected image of a person who's been dead since 1996 to perform on tour be crossing a line?

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 April 2012 19:16
 
Dick Clark, Entertainment Icon Nicknamed ‘America’s Oldest Teenager,’ Dies at 82 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Staff   
Wednesday, 18 April 2012 12:17

Dick Clark, the music industry maverick, longtime TV host and powerhouse producer who changed the way we listened to pop music with “American Bandstand,” and whose trademark “Rockin’ Eve” became a fixture of New Year’s celebrations, died today at the age of 82.

Clark’s agent Paul Shefrin said in statement that the veteran host died this morning following a “massive heart attack.”

Born in Mount Vernon, N.Y., on Nov. 30, 1929, Richard Wagstaff Clark began his lifelong career in show business began before he was even out of high school. He started working in the mailroom of WRUN, a radio station in upstate New York run by his father and uncle. It wasn’t long before the teenager was on the air, filling in for the weatherman and the announcer.

Clark pursued his passion at Syracuse University, working as a disc jockey at the student-run radio station while studying for his degree in business. After graduating in 1951, Clark went back to his family’s radio station, but within a year, a bigger city and bigger shows were calling.

Clark landed a gig as a DJ at WFIL in Philadelphia in 1952, spinning records for a show he called “Dick Clark’s Caravan of Music.” There he broke into the big time, hosting Bandstand, an afternoon dance show for teenagers.

Blazing a New Trail in Pop Music

“American Bandstand’s” formula was simple. Clean-cut boys and girls danced to the hottest hits and the newest singles. In between, Clark chatted with the teens, who helped “rate-a-record,” turning songs into sensations. Everyone showed up on “American Bandstand,” from Elvis Presley to Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry to Chubby Checker.

When Dick Clark moved to Hollywood in 1963, “American Bandstand” moved with him. He started Dick Clark Productions, and began cranking out one hit show after another; his name became synonymous with everything from the $25,000 “Pyramid” to “TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes” to the “American Music Awards.” In 1972, Dick Clark became synonymous with one of the biggest nights of the year.

New Year’s Rockin’ Eve

“Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” on ABC became a Dec. 31 tradition, with Clark hosting the festivities for more than three decades, introducing the entertainment acts and, of course, counting down to midnight as the ball dropped in New York’s Times Square.

But the traditional celebration saw a temporary stop in 2004, when Clark suffered a stroke that left him partially paralyzed and struggling to speak. Regis Philbin stepped in. But by the next New Year’s Eve, Dick Clark was back, his speech still impaired. In halting words, he told the audience, “I had to teach myself how to walk and talk again. It’s been a long, hard fight. My speech is not perfect but I’m getting there.”

But that didn’t stop him: he returned each year, and recently he was joined by Ryan Seacrest.

 
Tupac's hologram reflects another milestone in his mythology PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alex Macpherson guardian.co.uk,   
Tuesday, 17 April 2012 15:21

As much as Hologram Tupac undoubtedly blew the festival-addled minds of Coachella attendees on Sunday, there was also a sense of inevitability about it. The technology has been out there for a while – even Celine Dion has been using it for years to "resurrect" icons from Elvis Presley to Stevie Wonder, which would make her Las Vegas audience significantly further ahead of the technological curve than the Coachella hipsters. As for Tupac, he's already been subject to posthumous representations in almost every form you can imagine: astonishing statues in bronze, a cartoon reimagining him as a comic book hero, a claymation video that was the stuff of nightmares – and those are just the officially sanctioned ones.

Regardless, the entirely unexpected sight of Tupac apparently brought back to moving, rapping, performing life feels like another milestone in his mythology. In death, his totemic qualities have taken on a life of their own – "a kind of hip hop James Dean", as former Hip Hop Connection editor Andy Cowan once put it. Conspiracy theories regarding every conceivable aspect of Tupac's life and death, from his rape conviction to the identities of his killers, abound but one of the most troublingly tenacious is the belief that he is still alive somewhere (possibly New Zealand).

What could be more fitting than to resurrect a man who many still believe never died in the first place? It's probably worth noting, if only out of vague nostalgia for a phenomenon we don't realise we miss yet, that Tupac probably belonged to one of the last generations of celebrities who could be mythologised in death at all: now that our panoptic, post-dignity era affords us the easy opportunity to gawp over famous corpses at our leisure, it's hard to imagine similar flights of fancy being able to take real hold.

It's not just the fantasists who might assume that Tupac lives, though. To most of the world, it really has seemed at times as though Tupac never went away. Eight posthumous albums have been released to date – two more than the man managed in his lifetime – often with conspiracy-baiting titles such as Still I Rise and Tupac Resurrection. All went top 10 in the US, and they're merely the tip of the gargantuan industry that has thoroughly excavated every possible line of profit from the creative detritus Tupac left behind.

In the light of this merrily unceasing gravy train, it's perhaps a bit rich that anyone, anywhere, is only now criticising Hologram Tupac for making money off a dead man; the past 16 years have been an object lesson in music industry exploitation, and surely it's impossible to sink lower than that mawkish Elton John duet anyway? While we're on the subject of Tupac's second career, though, it's worth noting that the hologram was unveiled at a rather convenient time: there has been no new album since 2006 (dare we hope that the barrel has finally been scraped dry?). His hologram likeness should at least top those diminishing coffers up nicely.

Nonetheless, it's hard to condemn the spectacle of it all – especially given the appropriate decision to "perform" one of Tupac's most chilling, metaphysical songs, Hail Mary. (Spare a thought, though, for the similarly deceased but less mythologised Nate Dogg, whose own Coachella hologram was actually announced in advance but – presumably because he was himself being exploited as a red herring – never showed.) Hologram references will pepper every rapper's lyrics for the rest of the year, and thus extend the Tupac myth even further; the inevitable @HologramTupac Twitter account (so good you want to believe it's real) has already used a convenient rhyme to take a swipe at Drake, Lil' Wayne and their own tedious catchphrase du jour. And it's unlikely that we've seen the last of the hologram itself: what was a revelation this week will doubtless become a tired gimmick rather

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 April 2012 15:25
 
Does Anybody Love Anymore..? PDF Print E-mail
Written by FAME   
Tuesday, 17 April 2012 16:50

 

Does anybody love Anymore…?

 

I can remember when I was a young boy my grandfather would say to me, “you have to know where you come from in order to know where you are going.” Admittedly, as a young child I had no clue what he might be saying. Was he saying perhaps I needed to understand my parents more? Maybe he was suggesting that I get more intimately involved with my town and the people from which I came. Who knows what could have gone through my simple mind at the time. One thing I know is that I was not raised in a world where it was okay to harm another human without cause.

 

As I sat watching the news about the Trayvon Martin, I thought about what my grandfather said about knowing where we are going. One point I think my grandfather was trying to make is that if we forget about everything that got us here we might also forget the lessons learned along the way. In the Trayvon Martin situation my only question is “Where is the Love”? (Shout out to Black Eye Peas)

 

If I can borrow a quote from their song, “What’s wrong with the world mama, people living like they ain’t got no mama”?

 

Yes, I said it and so that we don’t beat a dead horse, I would like to respectfully thank the Martin family for allowing the world to share in their tragedy. If I might add they showed the world what humility and love for family and justice really looks like. No matter what adversities we may face in the future, its times like these that make me proud to be American. As I come to understand the stand your ground law, I would like to believe that the parties involved in the creation of this destructive law really had good intentions. Since we are always going through the effort of creating laws, why not ensure that the laws are not destructive to the very people they should be protecting.

 

As a fan of hip hop and music in general, I really like music that poses timely questions. I just love songs that make you think about the moment and the part you are playing. I heard a song by an Artist name Translee entitled “Does anybody love anymore” it made me literally start singing!! First off I cannot sing, so you know what kind of song it has to be to make me forget that. The artist started the song by saying “They hate the Government, They hate the President, and they don’t even know why but that’s irrelevant”. I was like Wow, that’s where we are right now!!! Great Song Translee!! OK, so where is the love? I see all this back and forth on cable news about race and where we are as a nation but I do not see the commentator ask this simple question.

 

If you were only born 10 years ago like my son, you would think you were back in the 1960 or something. To turn on the television and see things like people spitting on black congressmen and racial conversations on repeat every day. I know partly it is because we currently have an African American President and some are not trusting in his style of leadership. Seriously thinking about what has gone on in America the last ten years the kids are presented with a world full of terror; war and racial divide. What remains so amazing about our kids today is that you can still see the love in them.

 

As an African American father of two boys I am faced with the challenges of protecting and teaching them how the real world works. Often times I find myself telling them one thing and then following it up with reality. I am often forced to think about how it affects all kids when they see you can get gunned down because your hat is twisted or you choose to wear a hoodie. What lasting impressions are there when they see the judge throw the book at the innocent while the guilty walks away free with all of their rights? You ask does it STILL matters the color of your SKIN. YES!

 

So without question I’m asking this as a parent, where is the love? Parents if we love our kids we need to take a stand for something. We need to ensure that our kids understand exactly what we stand for and even empower them to let their voices be heard. I for one as a parent would like to always be able to say yes to the question of does anybody love anymore. I don’t just love my kids I love America’s kids and I believe that they are truly our future. Just as my grandfather passed on the lessons of his past to me, I believe it is our duty to continue that tradition. I think if our kids are armed with knowledge and a true understanding of history we would never have to worry about where America is headed.

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Last Updated on Saturday, 15 September 2012 04:35
 
Tupac's back: 2Pac hologram raps at Coachella with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, plus more surprise guests PDF Print E-mail
Written by Geoff Herbert, syracuse.com   
Monday, 16 April 2012 16:12

Tupac Shakur has been dead for more than 15 years, but rumors have long persisted that the late rapper-poet-actor may still be alive. Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre just stirred them all up again.

During Sunday night's concert at Coachella Festival, 2Pac himself appeared on stage during the hip-hop show to rap two songs -- via 3D hologram.

The eerie performance stole the show from a long list of big names in rap music who also appeared, including Eminem and 50 Cent.

According to MTV, Snoop and Dre were joined by more surprise guests on stage for performances of "Young, Wild and Free" (with Wiz Khalifa), "The Recipe" (with Kendrick Lamar) and a tribute to late singer-rapper Nate Dogg, "Ain't No Fun" (with Kurupt and Warren G).

Eminem came out in his trademark hoodie for performances of "I Need A Doctor," "Till I Collapse" and a dubstep-flavored "Forget About Dre," while 50 Cent rapped "What Up Gangsta" with Tony Yayo, plus early hits "P.I.M.P." and "In Da Club."

Tupac, who was shot and killed in 1996, then appeared in an all-too-realistic shirtless hologram to perform "Hail Mary" and "2 of Amerika'z Most Wanted." The reaction from fans and concert-goers, including celebrities, was dramatic on social media.

Rihanna posted on Twitter: "#TupacBACK #unbelievable #IWASTHERE #STORY4myGrandKidz."

Drummer Questlove of the Roots tweeted: "That Pac Hologram haunted me in my sleep. Rest In Peace 2pac.......#OkIWill!!!!!!!!!!"

"I think I might have cried when I saw Tupac. #coachella," singer Katy Perry added.

Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre also performed hits like "Drop it Like It's Hot," "The Next Episode," "Gin & Juice" and a cover of House of Pain's "Jump Around" before closing the show with "What's My Name?" and "Still D.R.E."

According to Contact Music, the festival's acts -- including headliners The Black Keys, Radiohead, Florence & The Machine, The Shins, Bon Iver, Pulp and Arctic Monkeys -- will repeat their performances and festival time slots at a second Coachella next weekend at the Empire Polo Field site in Indio, California.

Watch the 2Pac hologram's performance at Coachella (explicit lyrics)

Last Updated on Monday, 16 April 2012 16:27
 
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