We all know that Tupac has already somehow released more albums dead than he has alive, but this most recent act was positively miraculous. Tupac emerged from six feet under to perform with Snoop Dogg at Coachella, leading to a massive amount of Twitter buzz and some enormous album sales. Next, the news emerged that TLC was planning on going back on tour with the dear departed Lisa “Left Eye” Lopez, using the same technology. It appears that – twenty years after Natalie Cole released the “Unforgettable” collaboration with her long-deceased father Nat King Cole – resurrection is all the rage.
Where is it going to stop? John Legend bringing Barry White, Luther Vandross and Teddy Pendergrass on stage for – literally – an all-soul concert? Will Curtis Mayfield and Isaac Hayes be serving as Lenny Kravitz’s backup singers? Is P. Diddy going to bring back Biggie for his next tour? How long is it appropriate before someone tours with the holograms of Michael Jackson or Whitney Houston?
This hologram craze has to go away, sooner rather than later. Nobody is denying the fact that the deaths of these artists – or Sam Cooke or Otis Redding or the dozens of other legends who were taken too early – were tragedies, or that the world would be infinitely better if they were still around, making music and touring. However, the use of these computerized graphics to bring them back from the grave cheapens their legacies. It might work for a one-off tribute (like in the case of the Tupac performance, apparently), but bringing them on tour comes off as particularly ghoulish. It’s sad, but these artists are all dead; let them rest in peace, and let our memories of them lie with the music they created and the performances they gave while alive – not as elements of a bad sci-fi film.