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Publishers WeeklyThough best known hip-hop anthems like "Gangsta's Paradise" and "Fantastic Voyage," musician Coolio has proven himself something of a Renaissance rapper in his internet series Cookin' With Coolio. Here, the artist adapts recipes from his web show without sacrificing any of the slang, attitude or casual vulgarity fans have come to expect. Referring to himself in both first and third person (sometimes within the space of a single paragraph), the self-proclaimed "King of the Kitchen Pimps" teaches readers how to become a "ghetto gourmet" with basics like scallops "rap'd" in bacon, shrimp cocktail (Cold Shrimpin'), spaghetti (Bro-Ghetti), and lettuce wraps (Chicken Lettuce Blunts). Armed with garlic, onions, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, which appear in almost every recipe, Coolio provides step-by-step instructions only slightly more (less?) difficult to navigate for the slangy substitutions (dime bags rather than teaspoons), cheeky asides (step seven in Steak Fatricia: "Pass out the sombreros and machetes"), and unnecessary expletives (Crazy Pollo Salad "easily serves 4 crazy motherf****ers"). The irreverent energy can get tiring, especially when Coolio's indulging a slight misogynistic streak (chapter four is titled "Salad-Eatin' Bitches"), but the basics are well-represented with a minimum of fuss or pre-planning.
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