Yesterday, the world learned that Coolio, the legendary rapper behind “Gangsta’s Paradise,” died at 59 years old. Reactions have since poured out, including a meaningful one from “Weird Al” Yankovic. He shared a photo of Coolio and himself (more on the picture in a bit) and wrote simply, “RIP Coolio.”
Coolio is of course a major part of Yankovic’s legacy thanks to the latter’s “Amish Paradise.” The song, a parody of Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise,” is one of Yankovic’s biggest hits: It’s his most-streamed song on Spotify and one of a handful of Yankovic songs to appear on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The rapper was initially not pleased with Yankovic’s parody but later expressed regret over his response to it on multiple occasions. In a 2011 interview, for example, he said, “I sat down, and I really thought it out. I was like, ‘Wait a minute.’ I was like, ‘Coolio, who the f*ck do you think you are? He did Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson didn’t get mad..’ […] I’ve since apologized to him. 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.”
As for the photo Yankovic chose to share, it’s a significant one. The pic shows the two hugging at the XM Satellite booth at the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. As Vulture notes, this occasion marked the pair’s public reconciliation after years of tension between them due to “Amish Paradise.” Yankovic later said of the encounter, “I don’t remember what we said to each other exactly, but it was all very friendly and after a minute, he was gone. I turned to the next person in line and said, ‘Did that really just happen?’”
Revisit our 2016 interview with Coolio here.