Coolio on stage at Transit Bar in Canberra. Photo: Erika Bacon
Mixed reports have emerged after hip hop legend Coolio performed in Canberra last night, with some disgusted by his behaviour and others portraying him as a gentleman who cooked them dessert.
The American performer took the stage at Transit Bar in front of a sold out audience, performing a string of 90s classics including cult hit Gangsta’s Paradise.
Concert-goers have said the concert started off well but took a turn for the worse when a number of women were invited on stage, suggesting that what he lacks in hair he also lacks in common decency.
Christie Costello said that while she wasn’t expecting to witness "perfect gender politics at a rap show", she was shocked by what she saw.
"There was an incident where he forced a girl up on stage who he felt wasn’t having enough fun and he kind of cornered her physically on the stage and yelled in her face," she said.
"He then forced her to have a drink of a spirit. She looked very upset."
Ms Costello said Coolio then coerced a number of women from the front row onto the stage to dance, touching one of them inappropriately and simulating a lewd act.
"He was making comments like how they had child bearing hips. If that was a general 50-year-old patron in Transit Bar drinking and behaving like that, he wouldn’t be allowed to stay in the venue for very long," she said.
"I left as soon as that happened, and felt pretty awful after the show. I was disgusted by the whole thing."
But other concert-goers paint a very different picture of the ageing hip hop star.
Farhana Islam said she thought some of the girls on stage looked uncomfortable, but she believed Coolio’s behaviour was in jest.
"My take on that is if you’re in the front, kind of expect to be part of audience participation," she said.
"I took in the spirit that it was meant to be and I think it was meant to be fun, but I think some people took it a bit more seriously."
A group of concert-goers saw another side of Coolio when he invited them to have food and drinks with him and his entourage after the show at the Waldorf Apartment Hotel.
Since his rapping days, Coolio has tried to make a name for himself as a celebrity chef with his own YouTube channel Cookin’ With Coolio.
It is understood that he used his skills to whip up some fruit bread and butter pudding in the kitchen for the group of 10 to 15, before heading back out on the town.
Fairfax Media has sought comment from Coolio's publicist.