The Commerce Journal


April 20, 2012

Tupac resurrection brings new concerns to life

COMMERCE — In case you’re you haven’t seen it, put down the newspaper for a second, or open a new window on your desktop, and search YouTube for Tupac’s performance at Coachella 2012 earlier this week.

You back? In case you didn’t have a chance to watch it, legendary hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur performed a couple of songs with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre at the annual music festival.

What’s so amazing about that? Well, Tupac has been dead since 1996.

What performed at Coachella was a 2D hologram that looked and sounded real, even interacting with the other performers in a natural way.

After rapping for a few minutes, Tupac’s hologram dissipated into a cloud of shimmering dust.

The jaw-dropping display of modern technology, which cost in the ballpark of $100,000 to $400,000 is not only fascinating: it raises a number of ethical issues that the entertainment industry will have to struggle with if and when this technology becomes cheaper and easier to produce.

First of all, the use of someone’s image and performances after their death is nothing new.

A recent advertisement for the NBA features long-passed basketball stars interacting with current players.

Tupac’s performance, however, was far more real and personal than previous ones. Since Tupac was killed more than a decade before this kind of performance was possible, there is no way the entertainers can be 100 percent positive about what he would feel about his image being used in such a way.

Would the hip-hop artist reject to his image being used commercially, even if it was done in reverence and by two of the industries heavy weights?

What about other dead artists performing via hologram in the future? Could we see a reunited Beatles, with a resurrected George Harrison and John Lennon on guitar?

What about a Nirvana reunion? Would using these images, if possible, be disrespectful to these artists memory? Is it an invasion of privacy?

It seems like a slippery path to go down. Yes, I was completely awed by “Tupac’s” performance, but I can’t help feeling that his privacy was violated and that the Coachella producers should have nixed the performance.

Not that I’m an artist, but I imagine that if someone used by image in this way, I would be pretty angry.

 Until individuals are able to express in their will how they want their image to be used after their death, I think that such performances should not be allowed.

There are numerous ways of honoring an individual’s memory and achievements.

This is not one of them.

Text Only
  • This is ‘Our Commerce’

    Commerce, Texas is a unique community in north east Texas and yet in some ways very typical.

    June 26, 2014

  • IMG_2998.JPG Lions reveal true character

    Character is revealed during times of success and times of tragedy. Texas A&M University-Commerce, and specifically the Athletics Department, showed its character last week when two student-athletes were tragically killed in a car accident.

    June 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Father's_Day_1.jpg A short history of Father's Day

    There are more than 70 million fathers in the United States today. 

    June 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Judging pianists

    “The Van Cliburn Competition is the most important piano competition in the world,” says John Giordano of Fort Worth, who was chairman of the Van Cliburn jury for 40 years.

    June 10, 2014

  • Junk.jpg Enough with the junk

    Let’s play a game.

    May 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lessons learned from decades of making speeches

    I’ve been making speeches to various groups since 1973 when I made my first chamber of commerce speech in Dumas, Texas.

    May 27, 2014

  • Yard full of turtles

    Barbara Ellison of Cameron loves her backyard. It is full of flowers and birds. Occasionally a squirrel will drop in for a meal. “I could stay out here from morning ‘til night,” says Barbara. “It’s so pretty and we enjoy taking care of it.”

    May 13, 2014

  • Mapping Texas’ rocks

    Jim Runge of Eldorado is always doing unusual things.

    April 28, 2014

  • Motel a real winner

    I traveled to Kingsville to do some filming and interviewing on King Ranch.

    April 17, 2014

  • Fighting more than just fires

    For the past few weeks I’ve been attending a Citizen’s Fire Academy hosted by the Greenville Fire Department. 

    April 4, 2014

Featured Ads


How many games do you think the Lions will win in 2014?

7-9 wins
4-6 wins
1-3 wins
     View Results
Must Read
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide