Coolio serves chili at Hill Country Barbecue

It takes a chef: Coolio serves up chili Downtown

Brooklyn Paper
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Rollin’ with his homies: Coolio pounds fists with a fan.
Gangsta’s paradise: The rapper cuts into a rack of ribs.
Puff daddy: The rapper — who had an asthma attack earlier in the night — puffed on an inhaler throughout a performance of his hit songs.
Original gangsta: Coolio’s set concluded with his megahit “Gangsta’s Paradise.”

This chili will burn your a-- in more ways than one.

Legendary rapper turned food entrepreneur Coolio made a guest appearance at Downtown’s Hill Country Barbecue on Wednesday to cook up some hot tunes, answer fans’ burning questions, and serve his signature fiery chili — a dish he says he perfected as a kid under threat from his mom.

“My mother would give me a spoon and say, ‘stir this chili every five minutes and if you mess up I’ll kick your a--,’ ” he told the audience during a question and answer session.

The chili is from Coolio’s 2009 budget cookbook “Cookin’ with Coolio: Five-star meals at a one-star price” — so budget, his version doesn’t even have any meat in it.

But a rep for the eatery says it was happy to mix things up from its usual flesh-focused fare, and guests didn’t mind one bit, pouring into the Adams Street ’cue joint for a taste.

“It was awesome, it was everything we could’ve hoped for,” said Drew Kilman, who handles public relations for Hill Country.

During the meat-free meet-and-greet, the self-described “kitchen pimp” offered his sage cooking advice to the crowd, which included wearing the correct footwear and buying the right knives (he uses a signature set from Guy Fieri — who he also declared a kitchen pimp).

“Pimp your kitchen, don’t let your kitchen pimp you,” Coolio said.

The pigtailed pop-culture icon then regaled the audience with a rousing five-song performance. He suffered a small asthma attack, but pushed ahead thanks to an inhaler provided by an audience member, capping off the night his 1995 hit “Gangsta’s Paradise.”

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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