An Australian music tour booker has recalled the unflappable way rap legend Coolio, who died this week, handled being denied access to the stage by mistake.
Rich Moffat, a booker for Groovin The Moo, paid a warm tribute to the Gangsta’s Paradise singer, who died aged 59 after an apparent cardiac arrest on September 28.
Coolio was found unresponsive on a bathroom floor, according to the star’s longtime manager, Jarez.
Mr Moffat, who met Coolio on several occasions and booked him to play at Groovin the Moo in 2019 and the Falls Festival in 2010, said the rapper was a humble man who loved Australia.
Coolio, who died on September 28 aged 59, wrote his worldwide smash hit Gangster’s Paradise for the Michelle Pfeiffer film Dangerous Minds (Pictured, Coolio and Ms Pfeiffer)
Coolio (right) bumps elbows with Groovin the Moo promoter Steve Halpin (right) and music booker Rich Moffat (centre) on his 2019 tour
That was despite being once denied access to the stage by an over-zealous security guard on tour downunder in 2019.
Coolio forgot his lanyard and walked off stage to meet adoring fans during a performance.
In a brain freeze, an over-zealous security guard refused to let him back on stage.
But the rapper handled the situation with classic Coolio smoothness, Mr Moffat remembered.
‘I don’t think this security guard was going to let him back up, which was bizarre because he was the only black man at the show with those short, wiry dreads.
‘He was the only person there that could have been Coolio.’
Coolio with Australian DJ Mowgli May at a show in Maitland in 2019
Coolio toured Australia several times, also played at The Falls Festival and memorably, a suburban Brisbane pub for a $30 cover price in 2018
‘I had to say ‘this is Coolio, you have to let him up!
‘Coolio just sort of gestured at himself and shrugged.’
The bouncer sized the rapper up and Coolio’s smooth response let him realise his mistake without embarrassment.
Coolio toured Australia several times, also played at The Falls Festival and memorably, a suburban Brisbane pub for a $30 cover price in 2018.
Music writer Dan Condon told the ABC that Coolio nailed a perfect performance in front of ‘100 drunk people on a Friday night… at Chardons Corner Hotel, a dingy, rough looking pub’.
‘Coolio gave us his all on Friday night, and it was glorious,’ Mr Condon said.
He played in Australia as recently as April 2022, at Luna Park in Sydney.
Mr Moffat said alot of hip hop acts can be a handful from being ‘treated like royalty’.
‘Sadly a lot of them don’t get to grow old gracefully, but he wasn’t demanding.
‘He was a nice man.
Groovin the Moo security denied Coolio access to the stage when he went to greet fans during a performance (Pictured, Groovin The Moo, Canberra in 2019)
Rich Moffat said Coolio’s music transcended time and became part of the cultural fabric
‘He was happy to let the musicians around him share the spotlight. It wasn’t all about him.’
Mr Moffat said Coolio was a rare musician.
‘He was obviously huge in the nineties but he became one of those incredibly rare retro acts that everybody knows at least one song, even the kids.
‘His music transcended time and became part of the cultural fabric.’
Coolio released Gangster’s Paradise in 1995, and the song topped the charts in the US, UK, France, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.
The single itself sold over six million copies worldwide and came from his four-time Platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated 17-track album of the same name.
Mr Moffat also posted to Facebook: ‘RIP Coolio. I loved meeting this legend at both Falls and GTM at different times’.