i-Q: coolio

We take a walk through the valley of the shadow of death with Gangsta's Paradise hitmaker, Coolio.

by Matthew Whitehouse and Philippa Snow
28 March 2017, 9:25pm

Coolio has, quite famously, been spending most his life living in a gangsta's paradise. Rising to fame following breakout hit Fantastic Voyage in 1994, the Compton-born rapper became an international superstar when Gangsta's Paradise took home the Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance in 1996. Two decades on and, despite never quite surpassing those dizzy heights, Coolio continues to be, well, Coolio - knocking out records, dabbling in reality television and creating a web series, Cookin' with Coolio, to "teach yo' ass how to cook". Back in the UK this September as part of I Love The 90s UK Tour we thought what better time to ring him up for a bit of a natter. Don't be a foolio! Read our interview with Coolio!

Hello Coolio.
What's poppin'?

Oh, not much. Where in the world are you?
I'm in Las Vegas.

What can you see out of your nearest window?
Just a house across the street.

What was the best thing thing about the 90s?
The love.

Did you ever receive any weird presents from fans?
Oh, man. I got a present from one of my Eastern European fans, some sort of game. It looked almost like backgammon. I never figured out how to play it.

What would you most like to change about the world today?
The first name starts with D and the last name starts with T.

What would you most like to change about yourself?
I'd like to be able to grow my hair back.

Have you ever tried meditating?
I'm an expert.

Are you really?
I've actually left my body before. I was floating above myself, looking at myself meditating.

What did you look like?
I looked like me! I couldn't see my spirit self but I could see my self self.

Have you ever seen a ghost?
I'm sure I have. I wasn't scared though.

What did you do last Saturday night?
I performed in Washington D.C. I was freezing my ass off.

Are you looking forward to performing in the United Kingdom?
Absolutely. I have lots of friends and people that I consider my family based in the UK.

What do you imagine heaven's like, Coolio?
Heaven is like a nice satisfying meal.

Can you give us any cooking advice?
If you're worried about how well your food is seasoned, smell it. If it smells right, it's probably right. If it doesn't smell right, check the seasoning. It'll either be over seasoned or under seasoned.

Thanks, Coolio. What's your favourite thing to cook?

Any particular animal?
Probably a cow.

Probably a cow.
A fish.

A fish.
I could bring a chicken back to life. I could reanimate a chicken.

How does one reanimate a chicken?
Oh! That's gonna be the name of my next chicken recipe. It's called Reanimated Chicken.

What would the story of your life be called?
The Adventures of the Little Boy With Stick Up Hair.

What were you like as a 12-year-old?
I was a genius!

What did you want to be when you were older?
Malcolm X.

Have you ever pretended to be anyone else in the mirror?
Absolutely. Muhammed Ali. Michael Jackson. Run DMC. I have a pretty vivid imagination.

What was the last dream that you remember having?
I was fighting somebody. Me and my crew were at war with Donald Trump and the secret service.

Are you a lover or a fighter generally?
I'm both. By any means necessary.

What do you think you would look like if you were an alien?
What would I look like if I was an alien? Exactly how I look now.

Can you describe yourself in four words?
Real motherfucking hella cool. 

Do you have a message for the readers of i-D?
Don't be afraid to be yourself. Try to be an individual and don't be a sheep.

Thanks, Coolio!

Tickets for the I Love The 90s UK Tour are on sale now


Text Matthew Whitehouse

music interviews