Tag Archives: Tupac

Cool Music

Hologram Tupac blows my mind

tupac_2

2Pac’s holographic appearance at Coachella this year may be the most overhyped/coolest thing I’ve ever seen.  If you haven’t seen it yet, view the video below:

I’ve heard from multiple people that it was better on video that it was in person, but it’s still pretty technologically amazing.  This article from the Atlantic has a different take on it.  A profoundly critical one.  Take a look:

And much like Spinal Tap, Hologram Tupac carries traces of graying desperation. Dre’s The Chronic turns 20 years old this year, and with the exceptions of Wiz Khalifa and Kendrick Lamar none of the vaunted lineup of guests onstage for Dre and Snoop’s set represented fresh talent. Eminem and 50 Cent are household names but well removed from the best music of their careers. Warren G is a sentimental favorite; Kurupt is the answer to a trivia question.

Dr. Dre is 47 years old, Snoop is 40, and Hologram Tupac is forever 25. Hip-hop may have finally aged into an era of Oldies Revues—lavish and ludicrously expensive Oldies Revues, but Oldies Revues nonetheless—and Hologram Tupac stands as a marker of faux vitality, a callback to glory days, a nod to a crowd geeked on nostalgic sentiment. Seen in this light, Hologram Tupac starts to feel crass and exploitative, a mutually agreed-upon sham between performer and audience, the high-tech evolution of the Elvis impersonator.

I don’t think I felt that strongly about it.  I was more impressed from the tech side of things than anything else.  I guess I never gave it a second thought.  Give us your thoughts below.

Cool Hip-hop Film

Biggie and Tupac

There’s a documentary going around the internet (legitimately and legally) about the deaths of the Notorious B.I.G. and 2Pac, two of the biggest hip hop stars this mortal realm has ever known.  Many of the links are US only, so here’s one that streams it online worldwide.

Here’s the description:

Biggie and Tupac is a no holds barred investigation into the still unsolved murders of two of the biggest superstars rap has ever produced; Christopher Wallace, aka Biggie Smalls, and Tupac Shakur. Answering the crusading calls for justice from Biggie’s mother Voletta, Broomfield hits the streets from East Coast to West Coast, putting his own life at risk as he uncovers sensational new evidence that points directly to the involvement of the LAPD and imprisoned Death Row records co-founder Marion ‘Suge’ Knight in the violent slayings that shocked the hip hop world

I haven’t seen the film yet, so I can’t comment.  But I’m stoked that people haven’t forgotten.  In a world where there’s so much technology and resources, it’s still surprising that no one was ever able to solve these decades-old murders.

Trailer is below:

Watch more free documentaries

Cool Geek Music

The 5 greatest puppetry moments in hip-hop history

Yesterday, the blog at Complex.com published a brilliant post detailing the “unauthorized history of puppets in hip-hop.”  It features five (mostly) classic rap videos which contain at least some puppetry, including “Ass Like That” by Eminem, “Champion” by Kanye, “Da Art of Storytelling” by Outkast, “Me and the Biz” by Masta Ace and Pac’s “How do you want it?”  If anything, it demonstrates that current hip-hop suffers from a serious lack of puppet content. 

The best part of the post, though, is the music video remix of M.O.P.’s “Ante Up” with Bert and Ernie.  Absolutely hilarious!


 

Music

Rare Tupac tribute

A collection of indie hip hop artists from all over North America have gone ahead and contributed to “In the Shadow of an Icon”, a project paying tribute to Tupac Shakur.

It’s now available on all major distribution, including iTunes and Amazon.

Hip hop website EURweb makes it sound like the greatest album ever: “‘In The Shadow of an Icon’ brings no bling, or spinning rims, no meaningless repetitive hooks – just good quality hip hop with a message from unsigned artists relevant to hip hop culture in a time when real thought provoking hip hop seems to have left the scene.”

I’m skeptical about just what this tribute album can pull off, but it sounds like it’s absolutely worth a listen.

They’ve created a MySpace page for the album.  Although it’s possibly the worst designed page I’ve ever seen, it does provide links to the MySpace pages of the various artists on the album, which is good because most of them are pretty unknown.

Check it out, it seems like it’d be worth a listen, if not a purchase.

Music Politics

Nas Raps Political

Scroll down for some new heat by Nas. Produced by Green Lantern, the track – called ‘Black President’ – is a meditation on Barack Obama. Although Nas’s rhymes are undeniably dope (“America, surprise us/Let a black man guide us”) it’s the Tupac sample Green Later flips for the hook that steals the show: “and although it seems heaven sent/We ain’t ready, to see a black president.”

Nas – Black President (2008, ?)

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Music

L.A. Times Apologizes for Rapper Story – washingtonpost.com

L.A. Times Apologizes for Rapper Story – washingtonpost.com

Consider this a follow-up to our post only a couple of days ago. It’s amazing how fast things can change. In our previous post, we had covered the LA Times’ article about Puffy’s denial of his involvement with the first 2Pac shooting.

Turns out his denial was the truth, much as we had suspected.

The LA Times, in reaction to a report on the Smoking Gun, has admitted that its report was wrong. Apparently, the “FBI Documents” they relied on were forged by a federal inmate. James Sabatino is a well known conman and a huge fan of rap music. I guess he loved it so much he really really wanted to involve himself. He managed to forge a bunch of documents that linked him to the Pac/Biggie feud. What a nutter.

The worst part of things for the LA Times is that one of their star reporters, a Pulitzer prize winner, was the author of the article. Unfortunately that doesn’t save them from this faux pas.

The Smoking Gun, which says it consulted several law-enforcement experts, raised a number of troubling points about the authenticity of the Times’s documents. One, Bastone said, is that the agents’ names and the titles of the files themselves were blacked out, making them impossible to verify. Another is that the documents are riddled with misspellings as well as acronyms not typically used in such reports.

Bastone also said that font sizes and instances of one letter typed over another — so-called overstrikes — show the documents were typewritten, and that there are similarities to Sabatino’s own court filings. For instance, the word “making” appears as “makeing” in both sets of documents. The Web site said inmates routinely have access to typewriters.

Pretty insane that someone would make up documents to tie himself to a criminal investigation. But hey, I guess some people will do anything to get famous.

Music

Diddy denies LA Times’ Tupac story – Yahoo! News

Diddy denies LA Times’ Tupac story – Yahoo! News

So, in proof that the ‘Pac myths will never, ever die, people are still talking about who killed Tupac Shakur. He’s all up in arms about an LA Times news story claiming his associates were involved in the first shooting of Tupac (a couple of years before he was killed)

“The story is a lie,” the hip-hop mogul said in a statement Monday. “It is beyond ridiculous and completely false. Neither (the late rapper Notorious B.I.G.) nor I had any knowledge of any attack before, during or after it happened. … I am shocked that the Los Angeles Times would be so irresponsible as to publish such a baseless and completely untrue story.”

A pretty strong reaction, and I don’t doubt it. I’m not one of those conspiracy theorists who still thinks Pac is alive, and I’m not even convinced it is some elaborate plot that goes all the way to the top of the East and West coasts. My money is on a couple of idiot gangbangers trying to make themselves famous or trying to impress someone. It is possible that some Eastcoasters thought Biggie would love them if they took out Pac, but it is equally possible that some jealous Westsiders wanted to knock Pac out to make a name for themselves.

Either way, 14 years after the first shooting, we’re still talking about who started it and why. I’ve pretty much lost faith that we’ll ever know.