"Weird Al" Yankovic is paying tribute to Coolio. After news broke Wednesday that Coolio, real name was Artis Leon Ivey Jr., died in Los Angeles at the age of 59, Yankovic set his former beef with the rapper aside to pay his respects, taking to Twitter to post a photo of him hugging the late musician alongside the words, "RIP Coolio."
Coolio and Yankovic have a storied history that began with the release of the rapper's hit song "Gangsta's Paradise" in 1995. Recorded for the film Dangerous Minds, starring Michelle Pfeiffer, it became one of the most popular rap songs of all time, topping the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks and ending 1995 as the No. 1 single of that year. A year after its release, Yankovic released a satirical version of "Gangsta's Paradise" titled "Amish Paradise," leading to a feud between the two stars after Coolio claimed he did not give Yankovic permission to do so. The pair later made amends, with Coolio telling Vice in 2014, "I let that go so long ago."
RIP Coolio pic.twitter.com/Z53f3n6HDU— Al Yankovic (@alyankovic) September 29, 2022
"Let me say this: I apologized to Weird Al a long time ago and I was wrong. Y'all remember that, everybody out there who reads this s—. Real men and real people should be able to admit when they're wrong and I was wrong, bro," he said. "He did parodies of Michael Jackson, he did parodies of all kinds of people and I took offense to it because I was being cocky and s— and being stupid and I was wrong and I should've embraced that shit and went with it. I listened to it a couple years after that and it's actually funny as s—. It's one of those things where I made a wrong call and nobody stopped me."
Born on Aug. 1, 1963, and raised in Compton, California, Coolio was a prominent face of the rap scene. He recorded his first single, "Whatcha Gonna Do?, in 1987, but did not find success until he released his first album, It Takes a Thief, in 1994. In November 1995, Gangsta's Paradise the alum was released, earning Coolio the 1996 Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance. He remained an active artist in the years that followed and continued to release albums independently, with his final one, From the Bottom 2 the Top, being released in July 2009.
The rapper's manager and friend, Jarez Posey, confirmed Wednesday that Coolio died at 59. Although the circumstances surrounding his death remain unclear, Capt. Erik Scott of the Los Angeles Fire Department told CNN that firefighters and paramedics responded to a call at 4 p.m. local time for reports of a medical emergency and found an unresponsive male when they arrived at the scene. The patient "was determined dead just before 5:00 p.m." after paramedics performed "resuscitation efforts for approximately 45 minutes." Coolio is survived by his six children and his ex-wife, Josefa Salinas, to whom he was married between 1996 and 2000.