Black Sheep Mag’s Shaun Shearer goes in on this one! (Taken from http://www.blacksheepmag.com)
2008: Kanye West announces he’s releasing an Autotune album. P Diddy announces he’s doing the same thing. 2012: Dr Dre unveils a Tupac hologram on stage at Coachella: Michael Jackson’s family announce they’re considering taking an MJ hologram on tour. 2013: Will.i.am jumps into an industrial food blender. Nicki Minaj follows suit. (Ah well, we can dream.)
Jeez, what a state the music industry must be in when holograms of long-deceased artists are now considered live show high points. If the corporate machine, (or those forces that control and direct it, at least) hadn’t murdered all its best artists in the first place, there’d be no need for holograms. But seemingly that’s the point. It all bears out the old adage that an artist is far worth more to a corporation dead than alive.
Tupac is a case in point. Here’s an artist who, at best, released no more than five good records during his living years, but has had absolutely every scrap of his output cynically exploited and wrung-out for the past 15 years and counting – most of it tracks that were rejected for release at the time. Why might that be, do we think?
And the kids go for it every time, cos it’s so cool to be into a slain legend, right, a fallen soldier? Does anyone think Tupac would have achieved even a fraction of his legendary status if he’d lived? There’s no doubt that if he was still around, he’d be churning out mind-poisoning, brain cell-killing electro pop shite with the likes of David Guetta, just like fellow hang-on-to-my-salary-at-any-cost-fuck-the-real-fans-that-gave-me-my-name sell-outs like Snoop and Busta.
Now, there’s talk of a Michael Jackson hologram being taken on the tour circuit, and you just know that somebody watched the Coachella fiasco and thought to themselves, ‘damn, we could squeeze even more money out of MJ with one of those!’ I can’t help but be reminded of the movie ‘Weekend At Bernie’s’, where two teenagers accidentally kill their boss, then spend the rest of the film propping up his corpse and passing him off as alive.
It’s an indication of just how creatively on its knees the industry machine really is, and it only has itself to blame as the conveyor belt continues to churn out soulless drones like Lil Wayne, Drake, Rick Ross and Nicki Minaj. The excuse for such banal tripe is always the same: ‘We’re only responding to demand and giving the people what they want.’ But the truth is, the masses will take anything that’s presented to them, so if the industry really wanted to be creative and innovative, and usher in new sounds and styles – and overall, music with a bit of soul, warmth and humanity – all it would need to do is unleash that style of output, and the public would embrace it is readily as they have all the garbage. Clearly, then, the industry has no interest in such moves, and it’s suited its agenda to go on peddling shite. Which now means it needs to rely on holographic projections of long-dead artists to generate excitement at live shows.
What’s with the unquestioning reverence towards technology anyway?. Just because something is ‘the latest breakthrough’, does that automatically make it something to be embraced? Who actually enjoys feeling the will to breathe slowly draining away whilst listening to robot messages and waiting a decade for a human being to speak to when calling a corporation? Remember when, if you saw a car go over a cliff in a movie, they actually had to send a real car over a real cliff to film it? Remember when an artist performing on stage was actually alive and really there? Were those days so bad?
Anyway, if technology excites you, just wait til babies are microchipped at birth, cyborgs patrol the streets enforcing state laws, and there’s no more cash. Great, huh?!
So quite frankly, anyone impressed by a 3D projection of a piece of footage that you can probably get on Youtube, and brainwashed enough to part with cash to watch it, deserves to be duped and conned for every penny.
But in an age where Nicki Minaj can go triple platinum, anything is possible.