Made In America Listen Up! Deceased Artists We’d Like To See In Hologram
With the weather heating up, the spring and summer will give birth to a fresh batch of musical festivals. Two years ago, Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre were joined onstage with a hologram of the late great rapper 2Pac at the Coachella Festival and we realized there are a lot of other deceased artists we’d like to see in Hologram this summer.
His music is just as popular as ever but the younger generation never had the opportunity to see Bob Marley perform live. The reggae legend started out his musical career with the Wailers but he soon went solo and achieved international success. Marley’s songwriting skills resonated with an audience worldwide and he became the voice of the downtrodden and gave hope to the masses. Marley gave his last performance on September 23, 1980 but shortly after that his health quickly deteriorated. When he succumbed to brain cancer the following May, the entire world mourned his loss.
The Notorious B.I.G.
After the Barclay Center in Brooklyn was finally constructed, Jay Z held court at the new arena for a series of several concerts. During his inaugural performance there, HOV had the crowd going wild with a high-tech video featuring none other than the Notorious B.I.G. However, it was wrongly reported in the media that a hologram of the “Juicy” rapper graced the stage. West coast rapper Warren G as well as Nas have both spoken out in favor of Biggie Smalls coming back to life in hologram form.
On November 8, 2011, the hip-hop community was stunned when word leaked out that one of its own had passed away. Heavy D came up in the mid 80’s as part of the group Heavy D & the Boyz. After giving us a slew of hits including “Mr. Big Stuff,” “Somebody For Me,” and “Girlz, They Love Me,” he stepped behind the scenes and became the president of Uptown Records before moving on to work as the senior vice president at Universal Music. He was also instrumental in helping the R&B group Soul For Real break through. Heavy D last’s performance was at the 2011 BET Hip-Hop Awards and he passed away just ten days later.
Even though his music career was relatively short with just four years in the public eye, Jimi Hendrix is considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Born in 1942, Hendrix first started playing in the chitlin’ circuit across the country before moving across the pond. It is in the UK where Hendrix got his first taste of fame, having achieved three hits in the top ten just a few months after he arrived there. Hendrix died on September 18, 1970 at the age of 27 and although he released four albums while alive, 12 albums have been released posthumously, leaving his fans with an extensive Jimi Hendrix catalog.
British singer Amy Winehouse released her debut album Frank in 2003 but audiences here in the U.S. didn’t take notice of the petite singer until her song “Rehab” started to climb the charts. Off of her sophomore album Back To Black, Winehouse gained a lot of attention because of the song’s dark and frank lyrics. Few understood just how tormented and troubled the singer really was. During a very public battle with alcohol and drugs, Winehouse struggled with her sobriety. Her last tour was plagued with reports that she took to the stage drunk before it was cancelled altogether. Winehouse passed away on July 23, 2011.
There’s no denying that Whitney Houston’s nickname “The Voice” is well earned. There’s a reason why she’s sold over 200 million records worldwide. Houston broke out on the music scene in the mid 80’s with her self-titled debut album. Her crossover pop appeal helped her win over a huge audience that supported the New Jersey native for much of her career. In addition to conquering the music world, Houston also dipped her toes in the world of acting with the film the Bodyguard, which pulled in well over $200 million. The soundtrack also spawned one of Houston’s biggest hits “I Will Always Love You,” which went platinum four times over. Houston was working on breathing a new life into her career when she suddenly passed away in February 2012.
The world will never experience another artist quite like Michael Jackson. Getting his start in the music business with his older siblings at a very young age, Jackson embarked on his own solo career and reached a level of success that was virtually unheard of. Although his career was plagued with allegations of molestation and money problems later on, Jackson has remained a global icon. On June 25th, 2009, the world was shocked when news leaked that the gloved one passed away. Within hours, hundreds of people crowded around the hospital that Jackson was rushed to.
As one half of the underground rap group UGK, Pimp C helped put Houston on the map. Signed to a major label in the late 80’s, UGK gained a legion of fans with their signature bass-heavy beats and gritty lyrics. In 2001, Pimp C was sentenced to an eight-year prison term after violating his probation from an assault arrest. The hip-hop community protested his incarceration and started the grassroots campaign “Free Pimp C.” He was released from jail in late December 2005 and dropped his debut solo album the following summer. But on December 4, 2007 he was found dead in his L.A. hotel room from an overdose of promethazine and codeine.
Ol’ Dirty Bastard
When they dropped their debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) in 1992, nine young rappers changed the face of East Coast rap. No one saw a group quite like Wu-Tang before and Ol’ Dirt Bastard’s personality helped him stand out from the group. Originally from Brooklyn, often times he would act like he was one step away from the psych ward. Ol’ Dirty Bastard also worked on a solo career but his plans were halted with a drug problem, a month on the run as a fugitive and a prison stint. In 2004, four days before his birthday, Ol’ Dirty Bastard collapsed on the floors of RZA’s studio in New York City. His son, Young Dirty bastard is an aspiring rapper and has filled in for his father during some Wu-Tang’s concerts.
Once the biggest name in music, TLC saw a resurgence in their popularity last year when their biopic premiered on VH1. The three-girl group dominated the music scene in the late 90’s and is ranked as the best-selling female group of all time. But behind closed doors T-Boz, Chili and Left Eye battled with their record labels and then each other. CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story helped bring the group back to the limelight but don’t expect to see Left Eye brought back to life with a hologram any time soon. “To be totally honest, we can’t deal with that, with [Left Eye] standing there,” Chili has said. “That’s just way too much right now.”
Big Pun only had a short run in the hip-hop world but he will go down as one of the greatest lyricists of all time. His affiliation with Fat Joe helped him early on in his career and his heavy use of alliteration coupled with rapid fire speed rapping was virtually unheard of and helped his album Capital Punishment become the first Latin hip-hop record to go platinum. But Big Pun’s weight cut short his blossoming career and he died of a fatal heart attack in February 2000.
Jam Master Jay
Rap wouldn’t be what it is today without three young men from Queens, NY. Run DMC is responsible for introducing the art of rap to a whole new audience. Jam Master Jay was the brains behind the group’s style. Running suits, all-black outfits and Adidas with no laces was the group’s look and that helped them sign the ground breaking endorsement deal with the shoe company. The group eventually split up and each member went their separate ways but Jay was gunned down inside a Queens studio in 2002 at the age of 37.
She signed her first record deal at the age of 12 and never looked back. Aaliyah was taken under the wings of R. Kelly and dropped her debut album “Age Ain’t Nuthin But A Number” but soon she broke ties with him and her career really took off. Just as great dancer as a singer, Aaliyah’s hits included “Back and Forth,” “If Your Girl Only Knew” and “Try Again.” She had a blossoming second career as an actress and a brand new album on the Billboard charts when she perished in a plane crash while leaving the island of the Bahamas in August 2001.
He was born as Keith Edward Elim but to the hip-hop world we knew him as Guru. When he and producer DJ Premier got together and formed Gang Starr, they grew a legion of devoted fans who loved their fusion of rapping over jazz heavy beats. One of the most influential groups in hip-hop, Guru further cemented himself in rap by releasing several solo albums. In 2010, the “Dwyck” rapper had a heart attack and slipped into a coma. He passed away two months later.
He is affectionately known as the Godfather of Gangsta Rap. As part of the Compton, CA group N.W.A., Eazy E helped usher in the use of explicit lyrics rife with drugs and violence. After the group split up, Eazy E continued on with a solo career and dropped several albums. In 1995, fans were surprised to learn that the “Eazy Duz It” rapper was dying from complications of AIDS. Ten days after he made the shocking announcement, he passed away on March 26, 1995.