07.06.2023 / 20:23
Tupac’s Legacy as a Complicated Trailblazer Remembered as the Rapper-Actor Receives Hollywood Walk of Fame Honor
Andrew Barker Senior Features Writer On April 15, 2012, 2Pac made his debut appearance at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. At this point, it had been 16 years since Tupac Amaru Shakur had been murdered on the streets of Las Vegas at the age of 25. And yet there he was onstage, his holographic likeness projected with uncanny vividness alongside his onetime collaborators and labelmates Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, whom he now appeared to be speaking to and trading bars with in front of an audience of 80,000. As the first performance of its kind, the 2Pac hologram became national news, and sparked worries that a wave of holo-tours, featuring ghostly apparitions of long dead stars, would soon be filling festival grounds and amphitheaters. Aside from a few one-offs, however, this did not come to pass. And yet the 2Pac hologram still felt significant for a different reason. After a decade and a half of vault-clearing posthumous releases, books, documentaries, statues, shout-outs in hundreds of hip-hop songs, and murals in virtually every American city from the Bay Area and back down, Shakur’s iconography had long seemed at risk of swallowing the brilliant, infuriating, inspiring, complicated man himself, leaving only a depthless shadow behind.