Overnight, it was announced that the legendary American rapper, Coolio, had died. The artist was 59-years-old and was best known for releasing the legendary bop Gangsta’s Paradise. The iconic 1995 anthem went straight to number one in over 20 countries around the world and was later certified triple-platinum.
Before long, noted parody artist Weird Al Yankovic wrote and released his own version of the track titled Amish Paradise. But he didn’t expect to receive a backlash from Coolio.
Coolio hit the headlines in 1996 while condemning Weird Al’s cover version of Gangsta’s Paradise. He told press that the cover artist “did not” ask for permission to remake the track and release it.
It’s easy to see why the popular hip-hop artist became so frustrated. Amish Paradise became one of Weird Al’s staple hits and is still one of the singer’s biggest songs in his repertoire. Even the music video for the track perfectly replicated Coolio’s original.
Eventually, however, Coolio had a change of heart. In the early 2000s he began criticising his previous statements. He said: “I sat down, and I really thought it out. I was like: ‘Wait a minute … Coolio, who the f***k do you think you are?'”
Coolio reflected on Weird Al’s previous parody songs, including Eat It and Fat, both of which were satirised versions of Michael Jackson hits. The rapper said: “He did Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson didn’t get mad. I was being too magnificent and too terrific about myself and that’s not what you want to do.”
Before long, Coolio and Weird Al rekindled their relationship and buried the hatchet, but not before Coolio did some grovelling of his own.
Coolio looked back: “I’ve since apologised to [Weird Al]. Again, that was so stupid … That was a stupid thing for me to do. That was one of the dumbest things I did in my career.”
In a 2016 edition of the internet interview show Hot Ones, Coolio expanded further on his regrets about how he reacted to Weird Al’s parody. He said: “In hindsight, it was stupid of me to say something about [Yankovic] doing a parody of Gangsta’s Paradise. I mean, he did Michael Jackson, he did Prince. You know, people who were definitely more talented than I am.”
He added: “I think Prince did say something [negative about Weird Al]… but he wasn’t very vocal about it like I was. And it just made me look dumb… It was one of the dumb things I did. And I’m willing to admit I did something stupid.”
Although Coolio and Weird Al cleared up the problems between them, the hip-hop star was not going to roll over and do anything the he was asked of, though.
In 2006 Weird Al began working on his short film, Al’s Brain. For the movie, he attempted to get a collection of famous faces to grace the screen. Included in this astounding line-up was Paul McCartney, Patton Oswalt, Thomas Lennon and Fabio.
Weird Al approached Coolio to join in on the fun as well, but he wouldn’t accept the terms of the film.
Coolio later commented saying he wouldn’t join the film because “the zeros wasn’t right,” confirming that he would not have been paid enough.
It seems as if their relationship has remained on good terms, however. After the announcement of Coolio’s death overnight, Weird Al posted a touching tribute on his Twitter account.
Weird Al wrote: “RIP Coolio,” alongside a photo of the two musicians hugging at a book signing.
The singer was not the only person to post tributes for the American star. Ice Cube wrote: “This is sad news. I witness first hand this man’s grind to the top of the industry. Rest In Peace @Coolio.”
Flava Flav added: “Coolio was the West Coast Flavor Flav. He loved telling everyone that. We was supposed to perform together this Tuesday. #RIP my friend.”
MC Hammer joined in to say: “One of the nicest dudes I’ve known. Good people. RIP Coolio.”