Eazy-E and Ol’ Dirty are in good hands, trust us on this.
We’ve known and covered Chris “Broadway” Romero for quite some time. He came in the game with a rap artist, who was then trying to sign to 50 Cent’s G-Unit. But, as fate would have it, Broadway started working with 50 Cent instead, manning the mogul’s online enterprise. Not only did Broadway have a vision, he’s always had an extraordinary gift for making these wildly popular 3D videos. But, these days, Broadway has, well, broadened his horizons. He is now the VP of Animation R&D at 212 Decibels, parent company of GigIt, an upcoming Facebook game.
But even before his foray with 50, Fat Joe had Broadway animating Big Pun after the Bronx bomber had passed away. He knows what he’s doing when it comes to bringing legends back. Exclusively, he explained to AllHipHop how the “holograms” of Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Eazy-E came about and how they will quell fears in the Hip-Hop community.
At GigIt, I have a talented and growing 3D animation team that is creating avatars, stages, clothing designs, and motion capture moves, all to bring everything an artist is into the game. Some of my elite artists from this team will be working with me on the project, as Eazy-E and ODB will also be coming to the game as well. When you consider the popular games on Facebook are – FarmVille type games, our lineup of music, artists, stages, and brands – in this growing world we are creating is very exciting.
Chang Weisberg from Guerilla Union is down with GigIt. Inspired by the 2pac Hologram, he brought the idea of bringing ODB and Eazy E back to the stage, with the Wu Tang Clan and Bone Thugs in an unprecedented show for Rock the Bells’ 10th Anniversary. GigIt CEO John Acunto is a visionary who truly loves great music and the concert experience, and he understood my passion for hip-hop and 3D animation. Soon after joining the company, John sat me down and told me the plans he and Chang came up with. I thought it was a dream!
As AllHipHop reported on a decade ago, animating rappers has been my thing since 2000, where I created a 3D animated avatar of the late Big Pun for his “How We Roll” single. More animated videos followed with G Unit’s “My Buddy” and 50 Cent’s “Piggy Bank” and Prodigy’s “Illuminati.” In my time I also learned to direct in real life as well, directing 50’s “I Get Money,” Lloyd Banks “Beamer Benz or Bentley” and many more. I wanted to make sure I understood all elements of visual production because modern entertainment is more integrated than ever.
We will be using similar technology to Tupac’s Hologram to bring these legends back to the stage. We will push avatar visuals and the stage experience to the limit. The avatar likenesses will be approved by Ol’ Dirty’s mother Cherry Jones, and Tamica Wright, Eazy E’s widow.
I understand people’s mixed feelings since we are responsible for extending these legacies. It’s nothing to take lightly. But these artists thrived in a different era, before HD, before the whole world was connected with high speed Internet. As a generation that grew up on the music, we are now caretakers of what we held most dear. Our memories of great times and these artists that gave our lives a soundtrack can be brought back, even more vivid than ever before, and shot back around the world. This would not be happening without family approval, and without the involvement and excitement from the groups ODB and Eazy E anchored. There will always be opposition to new the great power of new technology, but fans should rest assured that this power is in responsible hands.
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Over a decade ago, Fat Joe took me and my team out to dinner and broke down the importance of representing Big Pun’s legacy in animation; later, 50 Cent would tell me he wanted to “immortalize himself through animation.” To this day, 50 still has animators on his staff working on his concepts and content for Thisis50.com. My company B Way Creative (www.bwaycreative.com) has continued to produce animated and live video content over the years, always in preparation for moments like these. I’m so honored and humbled to have this opportunity to keep the movement going, it’s truly a dream come true. I’m ready!
Just want to shout out Chang and Guerilla union, John Acunto and the amazing Gigit family, ODB and Eazy E’s families, the Wu Tang and Bone Thugs families, and of course my awesome 3D team.
Definitely gotta thank AllHipHop who put the spotlight on my 3D animation work a long time ago when I was still coming up out of my basement studio in Fort Washington, MD! We still here!