Note: Lyrics very much NSFW
It’s only a matter of time, I think, until we face a bigger conversation in the wake of the Tupac Shakur “performance” orchestrated by Dr. Dre last week at the Coachella music festival. Dre and Snoop Dogg are reportedly already looking into how to bring the 2-D likeness of their former Death Row labelmate on tour with them later this year. And no one can question both Shakur’s mother, Afeni Shakur, being “positively thrilled” with the act, or Dre for making a donation to the charitable foundation named after Tupac.
But one can hope that, if Dre and Snoop’s plan comes to pass, we get a more fully realized version of Shakur’s life and catalog; you have to wonder how the Coachella crowd would have reacted to hearing the Tupac of “Keep Ya Head Up” or “Dear Mama” rather than the abbreviated version seen above.
And could a Tupac likeness really produce a full concert experience? Well, as many tech-savvy music fans already know, it’s not such a sci-fi dream anymore.
The footage above is from the third concert “by” Hatsune Miku, the culmination of the commercial success of Vocaloid, a “singing synthesizer application” developed by Crypton Future Media. The character’s voice was sampled from that of Japanese voice actress Saki Fujita (if you’re an anime fan, Fujita’s the voice behind “Crystal Quartz”) and her look was put together by manga artist Kei Garō. Sales Vocaloid were so brisk (earning a reported 57.5 million yen in 2007 alone) that Miku was joined by two other “labelmates,” Kagamine Rin and Len:
So, how far can this go? Well, Vocaloid is allegedly preparing to release an English-language version this year. So Tupac’s “return” might only be a beginning.