Tupac’s “Greatest Hits,” released in 1998 following the rapper’s death in 1996, hung around the Billboard 200 on and off for two years before finally disappearing in 2000. Following Hologram Tupac’s appearance at this year’s Coachella with Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, album sales for “Greatest Hits” jumped 571% to number 129 on the chart.
Tupac’s singles also enjoyed a huge sales boost—not surprisingly, two of the top three were songs Hologram Tupac performed, with the other being his all-time biggest hit:
His biggest seller of the week was “Hail Mary” — the song his projection opened with at Coachella. The song moved 13,000 downloads last week for a 1,530% sales increase. His second biggest seller was his No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hit “California Love” (featuring Dr. Dre and Roger Troutman), shifting 11,000 downloads (119% increase). His third best-seller was the second Tupac song that was performed at Coachella — “2 Of Amerikaz Most Wanted” (with Snoop). It sold 9,000 (up 881%).
Those who saw Hologram Tupac as cheap gimmick motivated by opportunism will find a lot to call foul over: Of the three songs that surged back onto the charts following the performance with Dre and Snoop, one was co-written, produced by and features Dre (“California Love”) and another was co-written by and features Snoop (“2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted”). Dre and Snoop will definitely see a bump in royalties along with Tupac’s sales. Dr. Dre is also listed as a producer on both “Greatest Hits” and Tupac’s earlier album “All Eyez On Me,” which enjoyed a 95% sales boost following the performance.
Given this week’s announcement of a TLC reunion tour with hologram Left Eye and Jackie Jackson hinting at resurrecting the king of pop for a Jackson 5 hologram reunion, we seem to be headed into the Age of the Hologram, in which nostalgia acts stand in for a dearth of present-day icons.
This is bizarre enough on its own. But the hologram routine allowing the living to profit from the dead, with all us listeners as willing participants in the scheme, is seriously unsettling.