Welcome to L.A. Week 2016. To celebrate the rich culinary life of Los Angeles, we’ll be running special features all week that explore the city’s ever-evolving food scene—from its classic tacos, to its offbeat icons. Follow along on Twitter @firstwefeast.
Coolio may be the cockiest guest in Hot Ones history, and that’s saying a lot. During the past year, we’ve seen Gunplay proclaim that he “snorts jalapeños,” Chili Claus down the world’s hottest pepper, and DJ Khaled boldly question the entire premise of the show. But that’s nothing compared to how Coolio decided to tackle the final wing of the challenge.
Of course, the Compton legend has plenty of reasons to feel confident. He dominated the charts with “Gangsta’s Paradise,” one of the biggest smashes in rap history, and evolved into a staple of ’90s-era nostalgia. He knew Tupac. He was part of Space Jam.But he didn’t stop at music: More recently, Coolio emerged as a trailblazer for the cross-over of hip-hop and food—and, let’s be honest, for this very website—with his hilarious Cookin’ with Coolio book and web series, in which he proclaimed himself the “ghetto Martha Stewart” and whipped up dishes like Cold Shrimpin’ and Chicken Lettuce Blunts.
But even a three-decade career can’t prepare you for Hot Ones. Watch Coolio climb Mount Scoville and weigh in on everything from Action Bronson’s cooking-show coup, to the legacy of Tupac and the brilliance of Kendrick Lamar.