Yankovic famously gets permission from the original artists before he parodies their song, even though he is not legally obligated to do so. In this case, however, Coolio spoke out against the spoof, saying at an interview at the 1996 Grammy Awards: "I didn't give it any sanction. I think that my song was too serious. It ain't like it was 'Beat It.' 'Beat It' was a party song. But I think 'Gangsta's Paradise' represented something more than that. And I really, honestly and truly, don't appreciate him desecrating the song like that. I think he's wrong for that, because his record company asked for my permission, and I said no. But they did it anyway. I couldn't stop him. But you know, more power to him. I hope they sell a lot of records. Just stay away from me."
Yankovic responded with a statement saying that there was a lot of miscommunication, as it was his and Coolio's record label talking, and nothing was in writing. Al was under the impression that Coolio cleared it, and when they each appeared at the American Music Awards before the Grammy's, Al was nervous about doing his Coolio bit (especially making fun of his hairstyle), but the rapper was a good sport about it.
Al was shocked when he heard Coolio's remarks at the Grammy Awards, and send him a letter apologizing.
The incident was brought up in Yankovic's VH1 Behind The Music special, which added ballast to the story, but Coolio apparently accepted Al's apology, and years later when they met at a trade show, Al says they "hugged it out."