Coolio Reprised His Futurama Role Of KwanzaaBot Before His Death

We lost a rap legend earlier this week when it was announced that Coolio had passed away at the age of 59. While known predominantly for his contributions to music, Coolio was also a frequent guest star in film and television throughout the 1990s and 2000s, like appearing as a banker in "Batman & Robin" and his untouchable work for the theme of "Kenan and Kel." He most often appeared as himself, but enjoyed plenty of cameo appearances across a variety of genres. One of his most memorable was on the Fox animated series "Futurama," which saw Coolio as the voice of KwanzaaBot. The character first appeared in the 2001 episode "A Tale of Two Santas," but was brought back for subsequent episodes and the direct-to-DVD release, "Bender's Big Score."

KwanzaaBot is the holiday counterpart to the Santa Claus robot and the Hanukkah Zombie, traveling the world during Kwanzaa to pass out the traditional Kwanzaa literature book titled "What the Hell is Kwanza[sic]?" KwanzaaBot is often depressed because he's been engaging in the holiday tradition for over six centuries, and there are still so many people that have no idea what Kwanzaa actually is.

"Futurama" is currently in production for a revival on Hulu, and in the wake of Coolio's passing, producer David X. Cohen has confirmed that the late rapper had returned to voice KwanzaaBot once more. According to Entertainment Weekly, Coolio contributed not just the voiceover for the character, but also a "Futurama" themed rap over the episode's end credits. The performance will mark one of the last performances from the father of "Gangsta's Paradise."

One of Futurama's favorite guests

The featured episode will be dedicated to the late artist and Cohen also provided an official statement regarding his passing. "All of us at 'Futurama' send our sincere condolences to Coolio's family, friends, and fans," he said. "He was one of our favorite guests, always upbeat and enthusiastic." Cohen continued by saying, "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."

Cohen said that working with Coolio was an honor, and as he said, "Everybody loves KwanzaaBot." KwanzaaBot is also known for busting through walls like the Kool-Aid man (a clever in-joke to the similarity of Coolio's name) in order to educate people on the history of Kwanzaa, of course in the form of rap. The new episodes of "Futurama" are due to return on Hulu sometime in 2023, but the original series, including Coolio's KwanzaaBot episodes, are available to stream on the platform right now.

And remember, if you're not using 100% beeswax candles for Kwanzaa, you might as well be white.