‘It was Dre’s vision to bring this back to life,’ says Nick Smith president of the company that created the Tupac hologram at Coachella.
By Gil Kaufman
The Coachella festival is a place where minds routinely get blown, usually due to an awesome set or a killer reunion from one of your favorite bands. But on Sunday night it was thanks to the ghostly re-appearance of West Coast rap legend Tupac Shakur. He materialized on stage alongside his old friend Snoop Dogg during a crowd-pleasing set by the Doggfather and Dr. Dre, which also featured appearances from Eminem, 50 Cent, Wiz Khalifa and Warren G.
The resurrection of ‘Pac, who was murdered in 1996, would have been a face-melting surprise had word about the stunt not leaked out just a few days before the set. But the 100,000 or so fans who were on hand still couldn’t believe it when Tupac materialized on stage to rip off “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted.”
“What up, Coachella?” the shirtless, pants sagging MC asked the crowd before bouncing into the classic single “Hail Mary.”
“We worked with Dr. Dre on this and it was Dre’s vision to bring this back to life,” said Nick Smith, president of AV Concepts, the San Diego company that created the hologram. “It was his idea from the very beginning and we worked with him and his camp to utilize the technology to make it come to life.”
Smith said he wasn’t allowed to talk about the creative aspects of the production — including how the hologram was able to seemingly perform the set in synch with Snoop and whether all the vocals were ‘Pac’s — but he did say that his company has the ability to recreate long-dead figures and visually recreate them in the studio. “You can take their likenesses and voice and … take people that haven’t done concerts before or perform music they haven’t sung and digitally recreate it,” he said.
The hologram was the latest visual magic pulled off by AV, which is also behind the 2005 Grammys performance featuring Madonna and the holographic members of the Gorillaz, as well as holograms used in concert by Celine Dion and the Black Eyed Peas.
The Tupac hologram was several months in the planning and took nearly four months to create in a studio and though Smith was not able to reveal the exact price tag for the illusion, he said a comparable one could cost anywhere from $100,000 to more than $400,000 to pull off. “I can’t say how much that event cost, but I can say it’s affordable in the sense that if we had to bring entertainers around world and create concerts across the country, we could put in every venue in the country,” he said.
The life-size Tupac was amazingly life-like, down to the late rapper’s signature tattoos, Timberland boots, jewelry and movements, all of which were also recreated under the direction of Dre.
The hologram, of course, already has a Twitter page and more than 3,300 followers at press time. A spokesperson for Dr. Dre could not be reached for additional comment at press time.
Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton hit the stage with their teams, while Maroon 5 premiered ‘Payfone’ with Wiz Khalifa.
By John Mitchell
Things were shaken up Monday night (April 16) on “The Voice” with the surprise introduction of “instant eliminations,” a new rule forcing each judge to send one of their team members home at the end of the episode. The first judges forced to send one of their own packing were Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton, whose teams took the stage Monday.
An additional member of each team will be voted off by the public on Tuesday.
First to hit the stage was teenage country girl RaeLynn. Before performing, she and her coach Blake bonded over being “real country.” I’m a real country artist,” RaeLynn boasted, and Blake suited her up with the perfect song, hitmaker Jason Aldean’s “She’s Country.” RaeLynn’s performance of the song won over all the judges.
“Man, I’m gonna say, you make me want to sing country,” Christina championed. But Blake had the biggest words of praise. “This is the most proud moment I’ve had of any person on my team,” Blake said of RaeLynn’s performance.
Next up was fan and judge favorite Jesse Campbell, who delivered an expectedly excellent rendition of Beyonc
Join the hip-hop trio Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET on MTV.com
By Rob Markman
“RapFix Live” is ready to turn up. Last week, Sway welcomed Ace Hood and TDE’s Schoolboy Q on the red couch, but this week, he’ll have to make even more room because Future, DJ Khaled and Juvenile will all be stopping by to kick it Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET on MTV.com.
On Tuesday, Future is dropping his debut album, Pluto. To celebrate, he will swing through the “RapFix” set and make an appearance on MTV’s new weekly talk show “Hip Hop POV” on Wednesday. The “Tony Montana” rapper’s first shot features R. Kelly, T.I., Juicy J, Snoop Dogg and Trae Tha Truth. His single “Magic” peaked at #10 on the Billboard Hip-Hop/R&B charts, and his next record, “Same Damn Time,” is starting to bubble as well.
It’ll be quite the moment if the rap newcomer crosses paths with veteran MC Juvenile, who will also be in the studio. Juvie began his career as the shining star on Birdman’s Cash Money Records. His 1998 LP, 400 Degreez, was a pivotal hip-hop album and ultimately established Cash Money as a musical force to be reckoned with. It spawned singles like “Ha” and the rump-shaking “Back That Azz Up.” Juvie left CMR in 2002 and has largely carried on by himself. He dropped his last solo album, Beast Mode, in 2010 and earlier this year released his Mardi Gras mixtape with DJ Smallz.
Now you can’t have a party without DJ Khaled. Since 2006, the Miami representative has been carving his lane as a hitmaker. On his debut LP, Listennn… the Album, Khaled paired artists like Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Jadakiss and Beanie Sigel on high-powered collaborative cuts. He successfully improved on the formula through the years and has delivered with hit records like “I’m So Hood” featuring T-Pain, Rick Ross, Trick Daddy and Plies, as well as last year’s inescapable single “I’m On One” with Drake, Ross and Lil Wayne. Khaled’s latest track, “Take It to the Head,” partners Chris Brown, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj on a single track. His sixth studio album, Kiss the Ring, is due later this year.
Catch Future, DJ Khaled and Juvenile on “RapFix Live” Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET on MTV.com, and be sure to join the Twitter conversation using the hashtag #RapFixLive. Send your questions for the artists to @MTVRapFix!
To kick off Summer Movie Preview Week, MTV News brings you a very intimate scene between Pattinson and Christina Ricci.
By Kara Warner
There are always a lot of movies to consider in putting together our Summer Movie Preview Week, particularly with so many star-studded superhero flicks, a “Twilight” heroine-turned-warrior princess, family-friendly fare and reliably raunchy comedies on the horizon. But in thinking about how to properly kick off the week, there is no better opener than shirtless Robert Pattinson in an exclusive clip from his upcoming steamy romance drama “Bel Ami.”
The clip opens in a boudoir with the mostly naked and slightly disheveled Clotilde de Marelle (Christina Ricci) lying in bed, post-tryst, posing a question to her equally scantily clad lover, Georges Duroy (Robert Pattinson). Duroy is a self-made man of sorts, who uses his wits and powers of seduction to rise from poverty to wealth, from a prostitute’s embrace to passionate trysts with wealthy beauties in 19th-century Paris, where politics and media jostle for influence and where sex is power and celebrity an obsession.
“What are you reading?” de Marelle asks Duroy.
“It’s a letter from my father. Every week he puts on his best suit and goes to the priest and the priest writes a letter for him,” Duroy reveals as he gets back into bed. “And every week it’s the same thing: ‘Your mother sends her blessings. pigs have diarrhea, when are you getting married?’ My father’s a peasant, he’s never left his village. And he’s asking me for money.”
“I’d like to see where you grew up,” says de Marelle, who appears to be a young lady of the upper class.
“I’d like to see you there,” Duroy says intimately before locking lips with de Marelle.
“Promise me something,” she requests. “Don’t bring your other women here.”
“I don’t have other women,” he counters.
“All men have other women,” de Marelle says, which Duroy refutes and the lady reacts incredulously.
“Honestly?” she says.
“Honestly and truly,” he answers.
Despite the sweetness and sincerity captured in this particular scene, Pattinson has teased that his character gets himself involved with a variety of female paramours. More importantly, in addition to his being shirtless in a lot of scenes, there’s also a lot of his bare bottom in the film.
“I think there’s a lot of my crack in it,” he laughed when describing the film to MTV news. “I think there’s quite a bit of nudity.”
“Bel Ami” opens in Los Angeles, New York and select cites on June 8. The film will be available on VOD on May 4.
It’s Summer Movie Preview Week, and MTV News will be bringing you exclusive interviews, clips and photos for the most anticipated . Get ready to gorge on inside looks at “The Avengers,” Robert Pattinson’s “Bel Ami,” Kristen Stewart’s “Snow White,” “The Amazing Spider-Man” and more!
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