The Gangsta's Paradise star, 52, has battled the lung condition for much of his life, and it flared up while he was onstage at Hill Country Barbecue Market.

He was handed an audience member's inhaler and was able to continue with his five-song set.

"Coolio was having problems with his asthma," a source told the New York Post's Page Six, "but someone from the audience provided him with their inhaler that he used between verses of Gangsta's Paradise, and his other songs."

The rapper has yet to comment on the incident, but he has previously opened up about his close calls.

"I had a few episodes with asthma where I was in serious trouble and could have died," he told USA Today in 2002. "I had to realise I had a chronic disease which needs to be treated for as long as necessary."

Coolio's performance at Hill Country Barbecue Market was part of an event to show off his culinary skills. The star, who hosts his own online cooking show, served up his Damn Hot Veggie Chili to attendees, while he also discussed his admiration for other celebrity chefs, including Paula Deen, who suffered a publicity crisis in 2013 after she was caught on tape using a series of racial slurs.

"People make mistakes and say the wrong thing sometimes," Coolio said when asked for his opinion on Deen's scandal. "I know I do, so I don't hold anything against her."