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Remember When Coolio Admitted a Mistake in the Most Coolio Way Possible

Remember When Coolio Admitted a Mistake in the Most Coolio Way Possible

Artis Leon Ivey Jr., the artist best known as Coolio, passed away Wednesday at the age of 59. The artist had a formidable string of West Coast hip-hop classics but was undoubtedly best known for his iconic ’90s smash “Gangsta’s Paradise.” His tragic passing brought out a lot of tributes from his friends, colleagues and the 90s kids who grew up with “Aw, Here It Goes!” — the theme song he recorded for Nickelodeon’s Kenan and Kel.

But it also raised an interesting anecdote from an odd corner of his career — one that serves as a reminder of what a humble and kind person Coolio could be. And it involves another ’90s celeb: Weird Al.

It turns out that Weird Al’s popular 1996 spoof “Amish Paradise” was something of a sore spot for Coolio, who would claim that he’d declined to give Weird Al permission to use the song. There’s a little confusion around what exactly went down in those conversations but, in any case, “Amish Paradise” was released and Coolio made it clear that he was not a fan.

But that was then. People change and grow. And later, in a 2011 interview, Coolio revisited the beef with a lot of humility and good humor.

“I apologized to Weird Al a long time ago and I was wrong,” he told Vice. “Y’all remember that, everybody out there who read this s***. Real men and real people should be able to admit when they’re wrong and I was wrong, bro.”

Coolio went on to say that he ended up enjoying the song (“I listened to it a couple years after that and it’s actually funny!” he said) and also said he wished a friend would have stepped in earlier. “That’s one thing I’m still upset about,” he said. “My management at the time. Somebody should have stopped me from making that statement because it was dumb. And I think it hurt me a bit. It made me seem stupid.”

So, to be clear, what we have here is the case of a man who realized he had overreacted, publicly admitted his mistake, apologized to the other person and, as the cherry on top, reflected on the importance of having friends close friends who can call you out when you get out of line. All of those things are pretty rare.

For his part, Weird Al was just as gracious. “That’s very nice. That’s very sweet of him,” Weird Al told Newsweek when asked about Coolio’s apology. “Behind the Music made a huge deal out of it because there’s so little drama in my life. I’m not the kind of guy that has beef with people because I go out of my way to make sure that people are fine with what I do.”

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