Supreme is paying tribute to one of the most iconic figures in hip-hop, but it is receiving mixed reactions from fans.
The popular streetwear brand, Supreme, has released a teaser for its new collection, featuring the hologram of the legendary Tupac Shakur. The short ad, which was posted on Supreme’s Instagram on Sunday, depicts Tupac’s hologram wearing Supreme boxers below his shirtless torso and peaking above his 90’s style baggy pants. The hologram dramatically arrives on stage before grabbing the mic to perform “Hail Mary”. The hologram is the same version of ‘Pac famously debuted at Coachella in 2012 during Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg’s set, and was used to perform “Hail Mary” and “2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted”.
The teaser received mix reviews from fans, some of whom thought the use of 2Pac’s image was disrespectful. One commenter wrote, “This is wrong, using the death of a person to advertise your latest product”, while another chimed in, “Tfw you put Tupac in some undies for clout”. However, others saw it as the ultimate tribute to the greatest rapper of all time, with one fan commenting, “Supreme brought Tupac back to life.” The new Supreme collection is said to include a t-shirt featuring the hologram and may be dropping before next weekend.
While there is rightfully a debate about whether it is morally sound to use ‘Pac’s image for profit, there was also mixed feelings about the creation of his hologram to begin with. However, it should be noted that Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg were some of ‘Pac’s closest friends during his short and explosive life, and their willingness to perform with a hologram version of the rapper may reveal what Tupac would have approved. Shakur frequently talked about his legacy and his “resurrection”, often predicting his untimely death.
It’s possible that the use of his image in pop culture nearly 25 years after his death is exactly what he had envisioned, but his willingness to be used for the profit of a large fashion company that has been linked to war-profiteering seems less likely.