On December 16th, a hyper-realistic avatar of the late East Coast rap legend Notorious B.I.G. will be holding a concert and performing tracks from his catalogue in Meta’s Horizon Worlds. The show, which will use a virtual recreation of 90’s era Brooklyn as a backdrop, will also feature performances by guest artists like Bad Boy Records founder Sean “Diddy” Combs and a narrative journey of Biggie’s life by American music journalist Touré
Not everyone’s impressed that Meta is bringing an artist back from the dead in avatar form, of course, and the effort was met with a deluge of criticism in HotNewHipHop’s tweet about the project. Meta said, however, that it received the blessing of The Notorious B.I.G. Estate and that the concert will celebrate his life and legacy. Touré, who was in charge of the narrative aspect of the concert, also said that he “interviewed Biggie’s mother and sat in her kitchen, so she knows that [he loves] her son and will take care of his legacy.”
Meta announces hyperrealistic VR concert with the Notorious B.I.G. 👀 pic.twitter.com/MbxzFSE8rx
— HotNewHipHop (@HotNewHipHop) November 16, 2022
Meta’s Horizon Worlds is the company’s social universe that can be accessed using a Quest headset. Viewers with the a headset will be able to watch the premiere in virtual reality on December 16th, but they can also stream it on Meta Quest TV after it debuts. Fans who don’t have a Quest will have to make do with a 2D version of the show, which will be streamed at The Notorious B.I.G.’s official Facebook page.
It’s worth noting that 10 years ago, AV Concepts and Dr. Dre’s production company brought back Tupac, whose feud with Biggie was well documented, as a hologram for Coachella. Over the past years, the technologies that can bring artists back from the dead have grown even more advanced. We’ll likely see more events like this going forward, and we can only hope that the companies behind the projects will treat the artists’ legacy with respect.