Music fans who won’t forget where they were when news of Tupac Shakur’s death first surfaced nearly 16 years ago may now add the tall tale about where they were when word hit that he had risen: at their computers, dutifully checking Twitter. For those lucky enough to score festival passes to Coachella’s opening weekend, the headlining combination of Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg did not underdeliver on weed, beloved hits and reflection on a 20-plus year partnership. Reports that the ghost of Nate Dogg past would appear via super fancy technology during the pair’s set arrived last week, but it was the very lifelike, hologram image of a Tupac (sculpted abdominal muscles and tattoos included) that trumped any living specials guests (50 Cent, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Tony Yayo, Warren G, Wiz Khalifa) or hypothesized collaborations that preceded him.
With an energetic “What the fuck is up, Coachella?” Tupac appeared beside Snoop and Dre before launching into “Hail Mary” and “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted,” shimmying, swaying and did we spot some crotch-gyrating? (Technology!) It was all very realistic and eerie, particularly when the reimagined Pac interacted with his collaborators as if they were just shooting the shit back in Long Beach instead of from beyond the grave. And just like that, he disintegrated into thin air. Whether it was the Ghost of Pac, the man himself or just a regular ol’ hologram, this feels like a Choose Your Own Adventure story; approach the video below with whatever works best for the conspiracy theorist/realist deep within you. Also, Eminem’s three-song guest appearance included a dubstep version of “Forgot About Dre,” which you won’t forgive yourself for missing out on.