He’s been dead nearly 20 years but the magic of one company’s holographic box of tricks means The Notorious B.I.G. will soon be on stage again rapping like he never went away.
Toronto-based ARHT Media, which claims to create “the world’s most believable human holograms,” this week announced it’s acquired the rights to the Brooklyn-born artist’s hologram, meaning it won’t be too long before Biggie becomes the latest deceased celebrity to reappear on a U.S. stage.
Representatives of the late rapper’s estate had been “looking all over the world for the right company” to do the hologram before settling with ARHT Media, Billboard reported Monday.
The plan for Biggie’s return will involve the use of the company’s “HumaGram” technology, which DT covered in a piece last October.
Essentially it creates a “digital human, being it living, deceased in this case, or even fictional,” ARHT Media boss Paul Duffy told Billboard.
Duffy said the company uses “sophisticated transmission technology for beaming these digital humans through the public Internet to literally any point on the planet. These digital humans can scale to any size of venue so it can be in a window display, your living room or it could be in a 50,000-seat arena for a real-time delivery and display of this human hologram.”
If Biggie fans turn out to be as excited as his mom about the prospect of the late artist – real name Christopher Wallace – hitting the stage again, then expect there to be plenty of interest in tickets for the show, though no date has yet been announced.
“This project has been a long-time coming, and it is very special to me,” Voletta Wallace told Billboard. “Words can’t even capture how elated I am for the world to finally see my son again on stage and beyond. Christopher’s impact and legacy will not only live through his past work, but also the new experiences which have been made possible through ARHT Media.”
Related: Julian Assange turns up at Nantucket – as a hologram
The idea of creating holographic versions of dead artists for “live” performances has been around a few years now. Established firm Hologram USA, for example, got Tupac rapping again back in 2012, while Michael Jackson turned up at the Billboard Music Awards in 2014. A Whitney Houston tour is also in the works for later this year.
Interestingly, it was the Tupac hologram four years ago that inspired Duffy to develop the technology behind his business. “I looked at that experience and thought – wow, that’s pretty compelling,” Duffy said in an interview last year.
Before The Notorious B.I.G.’s expected stage return, the rapper’s hologram will make its debut in a music video for the first single off Faith Evans’ (Biggie’s widow) forthcoming album, The King & I.