Remembering one of Coolio’s best bops, the ‘Kenan & Kel’ theme song
The Grammy-winning rapper lent his star power to the pair’s ’90s sitcom.
Aww, here it goes.
Among those paying tribute to Coolio after the “Gangsta’s Paradise” rapper’s shocking death at 59 are recently reunited Good Burger stars Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell. The duo have a special connection to the Grammy winner: He created the theme song for their beloved teenage buddy sitcom Kenan & Kel, and appeared with them in the show’s opening.
“Wait, now Coolio!!!” Thompson lamented in an Instagram Story Wednesday night shortly after news broke of the rapper’s death from undisclosed causes. “Damn homie!!! Rest in Power!!!” the Saturday Night Live star wrote on a subsequent slide.
Coolio with Kenan and Kel during Nickelodeon’s Coolio Shoot with Kenan and Kel in Los Angeles, California, United States.
Kenan Thompson, Coolio, and Kel Mitchell.
| Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
Mitchell posted a lengthy tribute to the late rapper Thursday morning, including a video of Coolio’s appearance on his and Thompson’s sketch series, All That.
“Rest in Heaven @coolio ! We recently spoke a few months ago laughing and having such a good time. So many great memories with you, bro!,” he wrote. “That time first meeting you on ‘All That’ cracking up in a Good Burger Sketch then you bringing me on stage after your performance to freestyle. Then later creating the legendary ‘Kenan and Kel’ theme song for @kenanthompson and I. You did an interview the day of filming the intro on Big Boys Neighborhood and all of Los Angeles was at Universal Studios city walk it was a party!!”
In the post, Mitchell also revealed that Coolio had remained a supporter of his work, remembering: “That time you heard about the Good Burger Pop up in Los Angeles and you hit me and the team up and said you wanted to make it part of your birthday weekend and we chopped it up! Last thing you told me when we last spoke a few months ago you told me you loved how I keep things positive and to keep doing that. I will Coolio and thank you for sharing your light and your talent with us all and thank you for inspiring so many in your lyrics. Be at peace in the hands of our Heavenly Father and praying God comforts your family during this time. Much love bro!!!”
Back in the ’90s, fresh off his success with the Grammy-winning track “Gangsta’s Paradise,” the kids’ network reached out to the rapper to create the theme for the All That pair’s next show. The musician came up with the catchy song “Aw, Here It Goes,” named after one of Mitchell’s catchphrases, and even performed it in the opening credits that featured him hanging out with the young stars.
“Shout out to Coolio,” Thompson told EW in 2016 for a 20th anniversary celebration of the show, which ran on Nickelodeon from 1996-2000. “It was the best. He had been on All That before at that point, so we felt like we knew him. That’s how you are when you’re young, ‘Oh yeah, Coolio’s my best friend.'”
“That hook, the song still holds up today,” Mitchell told EW in the same interview. “When I do [comedy] shows I’ll play the Kenan & Kel theme song and come out to the stage to that or I’ve even been in the club and they play it.”
Coolio had also been known to play the song at his shows over the years.
Enjoy the opening theme below.
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