The musician voiced the character of Kwanzaa-bot in multiple episodes of the animated show during its initial run, and reappeared in the 2007 film adaptation Bender’s Big Score.
Now, as TMZ reports, producer David X. Cohen has shared that Coolio recorded lines and delivered a freestyle rap in the booth for the show’s upcoming revival season just weeks ago.
“Coolio was one of my favorite guests,” Cohen said. “He was always totally upbeat, and genuinely enjoyed coming in to record as his character Kwanzaa-bot.”
According to Cohen, the Futurama episode in which Kwanzaa-bot appears will be dedicated to Coolio and feature him rapping over the closing credits, in order to give him “the best send-off we can.”
Coolio died on Wednesday (September 28) at the age of 59 after suffering a cardiac arrest. Since news of the rapper’s death emerged, tributes have been paid to him from contemporaries like Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube, comedian Martin Lawrence, Dangerous Minds star Michelle Pfeiffer and “Weird Al” Yankovic (who famously parodied Coolio with the song ‘Amish Paradise’).
A new 20-episode season of Futurama is set to premiere on Hulu in 2023. Though most of the voice cast were confirmed to return when the new series was announced in February, John DiMaggio – who voices Bender – was still in negotiations. At the time, DiMaggio said he was holding out from confirming his involvement as he believed the cast deserved a pay rise.
In March, DiMaggio officially rejoined the series. In May, however, the voice actor revealed he did not actually get a pay rise as part of the negotiations. “People are like, ‘I’m so glad you got more money!’ I didn’t get more money,” the actor told /Film. “But what I did get was a lot of respect, and a lot of head nods from people who are like, ‘Yo, bro, I see you and thank you’.”