Is Coolio making a comeback or has he always been here?
About 5 months ago I sat in a bar in Silver Lake, California that had a stack of records alongside their bottles of vodka, gin, and all sorts of darks and lights, and I noticed Coolio’s Coolio: It Takes A Thief record had been placed at the front, making it the only visible record in the stack. So maybe this comeback is really happening? I thought, or this album is a quiet testimony to this bar’s old school taste and disconnect from 2014’s mainstream playlist. This ambiguity is exactly why Coolio’s fame is perfection, but his packed tour schedule and growing social media following could bring him back to the Top 40. You just never know. If you’re a total skeptic all I have to say is Matthew McConaughey.
Maybe it was the quick glimpse of his iconic ‘do on Oxygen, or the passing realization that the book Cookin’ With Coolio: 5 Star Meals at a 1 Star Price exists, or you’re the chillest and it was at a concert in Eastern Europe when you realized that Coolio has never really left your radar. Some present Coolio stats include a growth of over 10,000 Instagram followers since January of this year, leaving Coolio with over 11,000 followers to date (bought or real, but eh who cares?), 330,315 Facebook followers, over 200,000 Twitter followers, three of which include Ellen DeGeneres, HuffPost Food, and Variety, and 2014 tour dates galore!
Coolio’s most recent performance took place in Lodz, Poland on March 22nd of this year, and his next show is scheduled for April 17th in Hermosa Beach, and the schedule stays busy all through spring and summer. Aside from this gangsta tour schedule, Coolio’s published cookbook, his new cookbook coming soon, his Oxygen television show Cool’s Rules, appearances on Celebrity Wife Swap and Celebrity Big Brother, and his collaborations with Snoop Dogg have kept him always a little bit on the map.
Coolio’s quiet but still very real celebrity is not attributed to dropping singles and albums, but to his subtle and consistent presence on T.V., social media, and in the culinary and literary worlds. It’s all about recycling 1995’s Gangsta’s Paradise, which sold over 3 million copies in the U.S, and riding on his 90’s reign, and all I have to say to that is amen. Why make a new hit when you’ve got a perfectly good one? Coolio has made himself an icon of old school rap and hip hop, something that wouldn’t have been possible had his popularity grown over the years.
Coolio’s popularity in Europe, particularly in Eastern Europe, has fluctuated much less than in the U.S., and his celebrity in countries like Hungary is very much so a real thing. An article on ABC News titled Coolio’s Star Fades in U.S., But Shines Abroad discusses Coolio’s faded fame and refers to him as a “one hit wonder” and “D-list celebrity.” Coolio’s response? “If I listened to what people said about me, man, I’d be crying all the time.” Truth.
Coolio has, well, kept it cool, and continues to spread himself thin across Europe and the U.S., preserving his name just enough to stay simultaneously relevant and off our radar. For me, it’s the little things that indicate a comeback in the making, such as his sudden growth on Instagram and verified Facebook and Twitter pages, but only time will tell. Like they say, slow and steady and maybe you’ll be Jay Z? Naaaah…But we’re happy to have you Coolio, whether it be in the kitchen or on reality T.V., you make me smile. SHAKA ZULU!
And now for a little voyage if you will…