Kenan And Kel’s Kel Mitchell Discusses Coolio’s Work On The Show’s Iconic Theme Song Following The Rapper’s Death

Coolio and Kenan & Kel
(Image credit: Conan/Nickelodeon)

Coolio’s death at age 59, which reportedly stemmed from cardiac arrest shocked both the general public and the entertainment world. His passing led to an outpouring of condolences and tributes from the likes of Ice Cube and Weird Al Yankovic. One of those moving tributes came from Kenan & Kel’s Kel Mitchell. Of course, most 1990s Nickelodeon fans remember the “Fantastic Voyage” rapper as the artist who crafted the Nickelodeon sitcom’s theme song. If you're like me, you can likely picture the singer bopping around with Mitchell and Kenan Thompson during the show’s opening credits. Now, after the star's passing, Mitchell is discussing the music icon's work on the beloved theme.

The Good Burger icon opened up about working with the Grammy-winning rapper while speaking to ET. He explained that his and Coolio’s friendship goes back to the latter's guest spot during Season 1 of the revered Nickelodeon sketch show All That. On top of that, the late rapper also allowed the comedic actor to rap at one of his concerts during his heyday in the '90s.

So, by when the two All That alums got a spinoff show, the “Gangsta’s Paradise” rapper seemed to be the obvious choice to perform the iconic theme song. Kel Mitchell revealed that many musical guests, including the late rapper, would gel well with the show’s cast and crew:

A lot of the entertainers that would come on All That, ended up hanging out with us, and staying friends with the producers and the writers, which was super awesome, and when we did the spinoff, and him doing the Kenan & Kel theme song, that was awesome.

So Coolio was more than a natural fit for the Kenan & Kel gig, and I, for one am thankful that those relationships led to the late rapper getting it. Of course, while he create the song, things went up a notch once he joined Kel Mitchell and Kenan Thompson on the set of the theme song’s video, which is the show's intro. Those who've seen the opening, know that it looks like a huge party. Kel Mitchell revealed that that vibe was real, as he opened up about how the video shoot went down:

I mean, I remember him telling Big Boy's Neighborhood on the radio out here, that we were gonna be shooting at Universal CityWalk, and I mean, everybody was there. I'm talking all of Los Angeles. It was a big party. That's what people can see on the other side of the camera, that's why you see the energy is so high. It was just such an awesome moment, and that song still goes, like, people play it in the clubs, and play it everywhere, and it says a lot to his lyrics.

The comedian was right to say the theme can play in the club or any kind of other dance spot, and that sentiment speaks volumes about Coolio’s ability to maintain his lyricism while performing for a kids’ show. Many can likely still recall hearing the A+ track when the show dropped new episodes on SNICK on Saturday nights. It's a tune that many are sure to listen to for years to come, and you can check out it for yourself down below:

Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell, who recently reunited at the Primetime Emmys, are certainly the biggest reason why their eponymous sitcom worked so well. However, many will surely never forget Coolio's key contribution to the beloved show.

You can hear the infectious theme song whenever you rewatch episodes of Kenan and Kel using a Netflix subscription. And after checking the classic sitcom, you can stay on the streamer and watch All That to catch the late rapper's appearance in the first season.

Adreon Patterson
News Writer

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).