Coolio's Favorite Special Ingredient Was So Relatable

After getting his start in the hip-hop industry, Coolio — who died on September 28, 2022, as the Washington Post and other outlets later reported — moved on to the culinary world. According to the hip-hop artist's official website, his passion for food began as a child — but it wasn't until his mother later passed away that he truly dove into cooking, going as far as to go through all of her recipes, giving each one his own special twist.

Eventually, many of the rapper's updated recipes were featured on Coolio's own cooking show "Cookin' with Coolio," a web series that first aired in 2008 (via YouTube). But most memorably, as The Takeout noted, a number of his creations appeared in his 2009 cookbook of the same name. Per Cook Backstage, Coolio's recipes featured recipes that ran the gamut from home-cooking to fusion dishes to healthier fare, all of which to adhered to Coolio's motto: "All you need is a little bit of food, and a little bit of know-how." But in addition Coolio's food-related mantra, it seems he had an extra secret ingredient up his sleeve.

Every Coolio recipe has room for some bacon

As is the case with many chefs, Coolio had a favorite ingredient he loved to work with most: bacon. In a conversation with FoodSided in 2021, the performer and gourmand referred to the ingredient as his "chef superpower," and recommended it highly as a way to "boost flavor" in a number of dishes (via Fansided). According to the outlet, Coolio's top recommendations for incorporating bacon at the time were using it in sweet potato pie (in order to achieve a "sweet and savory" effect), as well as using it to wrap corn.

Unsurprisingly, Coolio's love of bacon far surpassed simple lip service to the popular ingredient and protein. As the New York Daily News reported in 2021, the "Gangsta's Paradise" rapper went as far as to team up with the food processing company Hormel for a holiday season novelty item — bacon-scented wrapping paper.