2Pac Hologram – Get Your Hand Out My Pocket!
When I saw all the posts on Facebook about this concert with Snoop, Dre and a “resurrected” Tupac I had to check it out. I pulled up the video but after the intro to Hail Mary, I turned it off. Something didn’t feel right. It struck a nerve. Real talk, I couldn’t feel it. But I’m a curious person so I replayed it. This time I watched the full video. Personally I thought it was whack! It was stiff and looked like someone doing a Vegas style Tupac impersonation. Swag fail!
2Pac Hologram: Homage Or Extortion?
Now lets get down to business.I have to start off by saying that I was one of those kids. You know, the ones that are constantly asking why. You answer the first why then are bombarded with whys for every answer you give until the child is satisfied with all the information you’ve provided or you finally admit you don’t know. (Or yell, “Because…”)
Why a Tupac hologram?There was talk of a tribute. It wasn’t Tupac’s birthday. It’s not even an anniversary of any kind, is it? He died in ’96. Its 2012. That’s sixteen years. It’s April not June or September. Coachella is a music festival with all kinds of musical acts. Were their Tupac tributes by any of the other the artists? Was it the anniversary of Death Row records? Is the Tupac hologram really going on tour?
If tribute means trivializing one of the greatest voices in rap history, black history, American history and the voice of a generation, then mission accomplished. But I don’t think this was a tribute.
Now I know opinions are like assholes…but I guess that’s why everyone was created with their own brain, to think. And I think this was done in poor taste. It reminds me of what Chaka Khan said on Pierce Morgan shortly after Whitney Houston died. Her manager told her that she was worth more dead than alive when she was having problems with her voice. Tupac dead is worth more to the music industry than alive. That’s the only way the music industry could control Pac, as a hologram.
This year marked the 20th Anniversary of Death Row records. Now I see the connection on the timing. This is all about Mo Money, Mo Money, and Mo Money. A tour with Snoop and Dr. Dre featuring a hologram of Tupac performing will generate a substantial amount of money. But for who?
In 2009 Death Row Records was bought by New York based music publishing company EverGreen and WIDEawake Entertainment (Toronto based entertainment company). It doesn’t stop there. In September 2010 the New York Post reported that BMG bought EverGreen in a deal rumored to be worth $80 million. This was one of four historic acquisitions by BMG that year. The other three; Cherry Lane music publishing, Adage IV out of California, and Stage Three out of the UK.
EverGreen (parent company BMG Rights Management) would now hold the rights to 65,000 songs by some of the most influential artists in music including Michael Jackson, Tupac, Dr. Dre, Will.I.AM, Quincy Jones, the Black Eyed Peas and John Legend.
EverGreens controlling shareholder is Trilantic Capital Partners. Five former employees of Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking founded TCP in 2009. What’s my point? A bunch of Wall Street yuppies own the rights to music they never had a hand in creating. They will be the ones profiting off of a dead mans image and life’s work. Not Pacs family, not the Tupac Center in Georgia, not even Snoop and Dre. They will probably get a few dollars, but the bulk of the money generated will go back to BMG, EverGreen and Trilantic Capital Partners.
Why is this important? Listen closely especially if you are an artist. When you sign a contract if you are not careful and do not understand what you’re signing, you could be signing away your publishing rights. If you wrote it, you should be the one getting paid for it. We’ve all heard Left Eye talk about it; we’ve heard DMX talk about it. And who could forget Prince with slave written on his cheek. (I’m showing my age) It’s not just a gimmick its business. I’m not against getting money, just be careful who you getting money with. They just may have their hands in YOUR pockets.