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How Coolio was nearly kicked out of his own concert in Australia

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An Australian music tour booker recalls the unflappable manner in which rap legend Coolio, who died this week, dealt with being accidentally denied access to the stage.

Rich Moffat, a Groovin The Moo booker, paid a warm tribute to the Gangsta’s Paradise singer, who died on September 28 at the age of 59 after an apparent cardiac arrest.

Coolio was found unresponsive on a bathroom floor, according to the star’s longtime manager Jarez.

Mr Moffat, who met Coolio several times 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 passed away on September 28 at the age of 59, wrote his worldwide hit Gangster's Paradise for the Michelle Pfeiffer film Dangerous Minds (Pictured, Coolio and Ms Pfeiffer)

Coolio, who passed away on September 28 at the age of 59, wrote his worldwide hit Gangster’s Paradise for the Michelle Pfeiffer film Dangerous Minds (Pictured, Coolio and Ms Pfeiffer)

Coolio (right) bumps his elbows with Groovin the Moo promoter Steve Halpin (right) and music booker Rich Moffat (center) during his 2019 tour

Coolio (right) bumps his elbows with Groovin the Moo promoter Steve Halpin (right) and music booker Rich Moffat (center) during his 2019 tour

Coolio (right) bumps his elbows with Groovin the Moo promoter Steve Halpin (right) and music booker Rich Moffat (center) during his 2019 tour

That was despite being denied access to the stage in 2019 by an overzealous security guard on tour downunder.

Forgetting his lanyard, Coolio walked off stage to meet adoring fans at a performance.

In a brain teaser, an overzealous security guard refused to let him back on stage.

But the rapper handled the situation with classic Coolio smoothness, Mr. Moffat recalled.

“I don’t think this guard would let him go back, which was bizarre because he was the only black man on the show with those short, wiry dreadlocks.

“He was the only one there who could have been Coolio.”

Coolio with Australian DJ Mowgli May at a show in Maitland in 2019

Coolio with Australian DJ Mowgli May at a show in Maitland in 2019

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 Brisbane suburban pub for a cover price of $30 in 2018

Coolio toured Australia several times, also played at The Falls Festival and Memorably, a Brisbane suburban pub for a cover price of $30 in 2018

Coolio toured Australia several times, also played at The Falls Festival and Memorably, a Brisbane suburban pub for a cover price of $30 in 2018

‘I had to say ‘this is Coolio, you have to let him go!

“Coolio just gestured to himself and shrugged.”

The bouncer measured the rapper and Coolio’s brisk response made him realize his mistake without shame.

Coolio has toured Australia several times, also playing at The Falls Festival and Memorably, a Brisbane suburban pub for a cover price of $30 in 2018.

Music writer Dan Condon told the ABC that Coolio put on a perfect performance for “100 drunk people on a Friday night… at Chardon’s Corner Hotel, a dingy, raucous pub.”

“Coolio gave us everything on Friday night, and it was delicious,” said Mr. Condon.

He played in Australia in April 2022, at Luna Park in Sydney.

Mr Moffat said many hip-hop acts can be a handful of “being treated like royalty”.

“Unfortunately, many of them cannot grow old gracefully, but he was not demanding.

‘He was a nice man.

Groovin the Moo's security denied Coolio access to the stage when he went to greet fans during a performance (Pictured, Groovin The Moo, Canberra in 2019)

Groovin the Moo's security denied Coolio access to the stage when he went to greet fans during a performance (Pictured, Groovin The Moo, Canberra in 2019)

Groovin the Moo’s 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 crossed time and became part of the cultural fabric

Rich Moffat said Coolio's music crossed time and became part of the cultural fabric

Rich Moffat said Coolio’s music crossed time and became part of the cultural fabric

‘He liked to put the musicians around him in the spotlight. It wasn’t just about him.’

Mr Moffat said Coolio was a rare musician.

“Obviously he was huge in the 1990s, but he became one of those incredibly rare retro acts that everyone knows at least one song, even the kids.

‘His music transcends time and becomes 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-times platinum-selling, Grammy-nominated 17-track album of the same name.

Mr Moffat also posted on Facebook: ‘RIP Coolio. It was great to meet this legend at both Falls and GTM on several occasions.”