Coolio‘s long-term girlfriend Mimi Ivey paid tribute to the late rapper, who she was romantically involved with for a decade, in a new interview with the Daily Mail on Monday, Oct. 3. Mimi, 41, looked back fondly on her time with the rapper. “We were best friends. We would talk about everything and joke and laugh about everything. There was never a dull moment being with him,” she told the outlet.
Mimi also shared some of her favorite qualities and memories with the rapper. “He was an eccentric, a storyteller. He loved life. He loved his family, his career, and he loved to make people smile,” she said. “Yes, we had our ups and downs. But I don’t care who you are, if you say you have a perfect relationship, then it’s not real.”
Another memory Mimi recalled is when she and Coolio almost got married but decided not to turn in the paperwork for their wedding. Even though the couple never got legally married, Mimi revealed that her love for Coolio was so important to her. “It’s just a piece of paper that doesn’t change how either one of us felt about each other,” she explained.
The chef and entrepreneur also revealed while they were not married, her daughter looked at Coolio as a father figure. “My daughter asked him to be her father, they had a discussion about it, and he chose to take on the role as her father,” she noted. “He embraced that role 100%.”
Coolio and Mimi were together from 2012 until his death on Sept. 28 at age 59. “I just remember all of the air and life coming out of my body,” she told the publication about the moment she found out about his sudden death. “I was outside, getting ready to take my son to football practice. All I remember was dropping to my knees. I collapsed.” The couple appeared together on the TV shows Love Goals and Celebrity Wife Swap.
Before getting into a long-term relationship with Mimi, Coolio was married to Josefa Salinas from 1996 until 2000. He had four kids with her.
Since Coolio’s death, Mimi has shared two tributes to her late boyfriend. “I’ll never forget you. You’ll always be by my side,” she wrote with a set of photos and a video on Sunday, Oct. 2.
The day after this death, Mimi penned a lengthier caption alongside a selfie with him. “Words can not express the pain that I am feeling right now. You are my soul mate, hubby, lover & best friend I’m so happy that you called me on FaceTime at 2am and woke me up out my sleep to tell me you love me and miss me,” she began. “If I would have known that it was going to be the last conversation I have with you I wouldn’t have let you get off the phone. I miss you boo and I’m staying strong & I will see you when I get there!”
Mimi revealed that Coolio will not be having a funeral per his wishes, and there will be a very private cremation for his family and friends. The invitation list is reportedly so exclusive, however, that even some of his longest friends will not be present for the cremation service.