About two days ago, “Hip Hop Is Dead” by Nas shuffled on my iPod. As I listened to the lyrics for the umpteenth time, I felt Nas was wrong. Hip-hop wasn’t really dead, the game has just been altered. Everything has to evolve. Sure there’s a new rapper with a new mixtape every single day. But there are still many talented hip-hop artists out there.
Then something happened two nights ago at Coachella and proved Nas’ record was ahead of its time.For those of you who don’t know, which is probably impossible, Coachella is a huge annual music festival with mainstream and “indie” artists. It’s usually flocked by modern day hippies and people who go just to look “cool”.
Since us humans just aren’t amazed by anything anymore, there were some money hungry jerks who thought, “Hey, let’s bring Tupac back to perform with Snoop and Dr. Dre’. We can bring him back as an interactive hologram!!!!!!” There are also talks that the hologram may be featured in future tours.
Granted, Meek Mill hollered “Tupac Back!!” and I’m sure we all hollered with him, but he didn’t mean it literally! Apparently hip hop has become so dead, ironically, that the only thing to get us talking (besides Nicki Minaj deleting her Twitter) is a rapper being brought back to life from over 15 years ago.
Perhaps I’m being too sensitive about the genre that raised me. Perhaps my standards for hip-hop still capturing its essence with a new twist were too high. Or perhaps I think we should just let Tupac actually rest in peace.
The technology behind it was awesome, don’t get me wrong. But it feels like a pimp slap in the face. Hip-hop has become a parody.
What will happen when all of the Nas’ and Jay-Z’s finally pass the throne to the new cats? Who are the new cats? The industry has become nothing but a cash cow. ‘Pac didn’t die to perform with rappers who’ve made careers based on smoking weed or in front of an audience who shops at Urban Outfitters. (No shade to Wiz Khalifa or UO).
But I digress. I wonder how I’d feel if there was a hologram Elvis.