Gangsta chef: Rapper Coolio selling music catalogue to fund cooking career

Norman Byrd's picture

Yo, did you know that Coolio, best known for a series of hit rap singles in the 90s, is selling off his nine-album music catalogue? The rapper says he needs some funds -- no, not for court costs or because he's broke -- but for his career as a promising chef.

That's right: The Guardian reported this week that Coolio has aspirations of becoming a world-renowned chef. And he's already got some street cred in the culinary world, having posted a New York Times bestselling cookbook in 2009 with Cookin' With Coolio. He also has an online cooking show of the same name on (Warning: NSFW). So, in order to finance the show and pen a cookbook or two, Coolio decided that 123 of his songs -- including his biggest hit, "Gangsta's Paradise" -- would be put up on the auction block at the end of August.

Now, the cynics out there will undoubtedly start slamming the rapper, stating that his legal problems most likely are the prompt for the sale of the Coolio catalogue. And although the money generated (it is estimated that the catalogue will probably fetch anywhere from $134,000 to $225,000) might come in handy with his legal troubles, that's not why the rapper wants the money. As incentive for the prospective buyer, the catalogue still generates a reported $$23,227 in royalties per year.

Not bad income for a rap artist that hasn't had a hit in a decade.

And the song "Gangsta's Paradise," a Grammy winner as well as an MTV Best Rap Video winner, will most likely continue to sell and provide royalties, given that it was included in the 2013 Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson film, "Pain & Gain." It was also used in the 2011 films "The Green Hornet" and "Bad Teacher."

The song caught fire in 1995 as part of Coolio's album of the same name, but gained additional momentum when it was included in the hit Michelle Pfeiffer film "Dangerous Minds." The song was the No. 1 charting single and the No. 1 selling single of 1995, according to Billboard. It placed at No. 69 on Billboard's "Greatest Songs of All Time" and is one of the best-selling singles in history.

The catalogue will go up on the auction block at the Royalty Exchange. Says CEO Sean Peace of the catalogue: "[This] auction is an exciting and rare opportunity for anyone looking for an alternative investment in music publishing and songwriter royalties."

But is financing a culinary career a good move? That's difficult to say, but given the popularity of cooking shows and all-things-food networks, he's got a great shot at being successful with his unique take on cooking. Besides, it isn't as if nobody has noticed his cooking skills.

For instance, he made an appearance on "Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off" in 2012. On the show, where each contestant plays for a charity, Coolio placed runner-up as a member of Guy Fieri's team to Rachael Ray's winning cook, actor Lou Diamond Phillips.

Coolio's song catalogue goes up for auction on August 28.