Dear Tupac, holograms are great, but virtual reality is better

by Nick Ochoa • November 24th, 2014

Taylor Swift and The Who did it with Immersive Media. Coldplay did it with our friends from NextVR. Paul McCartney did it with Jaunt. But where the hell is Tupac?!

You may remember, Tupac showed up at Coachella a couple years back in the form of a hologram, where he rapped onstage alongside Dr. Dre and Snoop. People went nuts on social media when they saw the rap god performing, Tupac was back baby!!

So when will Tupac make his appearance in VR? Actually, when will any rapper make their appearance in VR?

Rappers have been inching into the tech world slowly but surely (it’s about time). Snoop Dogg has been heavily investing in startups as of late, making bets on companies including the zero commission stock-trading app Robinhood, video streaming solution Ustream, and reddit amongst others. In his mixtape STN MTN, rapper/comedian/actor Childish Gambino made a long list of shootouts to the tech community including Twitter and Square founder Jack Dorsey and Pitchfork founder Ryan Schreiber.

If it takes three to make a trend, then it is clear that virtual reality is trending in the music business, so it only makes sense that someone in the rap game will make the jump into VR soon. Given his track record I’ll bet Mr. Wu-Tang generated name himself Donald Glover will make a shout-out to VR in a song soon enough. But as far as a full virtual reality experience goes? I’m torn.

Kanye, who might argue he’s a better rapper than Tupac, has been known to do some fairly intense, and if I might add pretty genius experimental marketing for his albums. For his 6th studio album “Yeezus” he promoted the track “New Slaves” by projecting the video on the sides of buildings across the world. He doesn’t have an album slated to release anytime soon, but is the creative mastermind cooking something up for someone in the G.O.O.D music camp? I’m hoping he does.

Drake and Lil Wayne are also likely candidates. Their co-headlined concert tour “Drake vs. Lil Wayne” is based on the fighting game “Street Fighter” and is supported by game maker Capcom. They created an app that allows fans to vote on who hits the stage first, and at each concert they battle against each other to determine who was to be crowned king of the night. Maybe we will see the battle in VR sometime soon? Again, I’m hoping so.

Building a VR experience that is so incredibly stimulating that every Hip-Hop head with an Oculus or GearVR will have to download it over the holidays is a very, very good idea. Needless to say, someone will do it. Who will be first? Not sure who, but I’ll be the first to jump into the experience when they do. And Tupac, even if you decide not to make a guest appearance, I ain’t mad at cha.

Who do you think will be the first rapper in virtual reality?

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