Coolio also recorded some Futurama-themed rapping, which will air over the end credits of the episode when the reboot hits the streamer in 2023.
“All of us at Futurama send our sincere condolences to Coolio’s family, friends, and fans. He was one of our favorite guests, always upbeat and enthusiastic,” Cohen wrote to EW in a statement. “This news was especially shocking since he looked and sounded great when we saw him in the studio just a few weeks ago, for what was an especially fun session. I thanked him for returning to do the part once again, and he said, ‘Everybody loves KwanzaaBot.’ It was an honor to have gotten the chance to work with him.”
Coolio first voiced KwanzaaBot, who traveled the world handing out Kwanzaa literature, in a December 2001 episode of Futurama titled “A Tale of Two Santas.” KwanzaaBot also appeared in the 2007 movie “Bender’s Big Score” and 2010’s “The Futurama Holiday Spectacular.”
“Futurama” originally ran on Fox for seven seasons from 1999 to 2013.
After his tragic passing was announced, tributes to the rapper–best known for his 1995 Grammy-winning song “Gangsta’s Paradise”–started to roll in.
“This is sad news,” Ice Cube tweeted. “I witness first hand this man’s grind to the top of the industry. Rest In Peace @Coolio.”
Martin Lawrence tweeted, “My deepest condolences and prayers go out to the family of @Coolio #rip.”
Michelle Pfeiffer remembered Coolio, whose song “Gangsta’s Paradise” was on the soundtrack to her 1995 film “Dangerous Minds,” saying in part, “He won a Grammy for his brilliant song on the soundtrack–which I think was the reason our film saw so much success. I remember him being nothing but gracious. 30 years later I still get chills when I hear the song.”
Coolio was 59 years old.
The 20-episode “Futurama” reboot–featuring original voice actors John DiMaggio, Tress MacNeille, Billy West, Katey Sagal, Maurice LaMarche, Lauren Tom, Phil LaMarr and David Herman–will hit Hulu sometime in 2023.
Hollywood is mourning the loss of Coolio, who died on Wednesday at the age of 59.