Coolio, whose 90s the music was a staple on radio, a favorite on MTV, and included the hit ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’, died Wednesday at the age of 59. Coolio’s manager Jarez Posey confirmed the rapper’s death to rolling stone. A cause of death was not immediately available.
“We are saddened by the loss of our dear friend and client Coolio, who passed away this afternoon. He touched the world with the gift of his talent and he will be deeply missed,” said Sheila Finegan, his director at Trinity Artists International. , in a statement (via Variety). “Thank you to everyone around the world who listened to his music and to everyone who reached out about his passing. Please have Coolio’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.
When the news broke, those who knew him paid their respects.
“This is sad news”, Ice Cube wrote. “I have witnessed this man’s rise to the top of the industry firsthand. Rest in peace.”
“One of the nicest guys I know”, MC Hammer job. “Good people. RIP Coolio”
Born Artis Leon Ivey Jr. in 1963, he went to school in Compton, California and attended Compton Community College. He recorded his first single in the late 1980s, “Watcha Gonna Do”, a song played locally on a hip-hop station. He then connected with WC and the Maad Circle and contributed to their 1991 debut album, Ain’t a fucking changed Thang.
In 1994, he established himself on the Los Angeles rap scene and was signed to Tommy Boy Records, where he released his first studio album, It takes a thief. The album’s single “Fantastic Voyage”, accompanied by a playful video, reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100.
A year later, he teamed up with gospel singer LV for “Gangsta’s Paradise,” the surprisingly haunting track that sampled Stevie Wonder’s “Pastime Paradise” and appeared in the movie. dangerous spirits.
“I wasn’t really familiar with ‘Pastime Paradise,’ being as much of a Stevie Wonder fan as I am,” Coolio said. rolling stone in 2015 in an oral history of the song. “My very first album that I bought was the one with ‘Superwoman’ on it. [1972’s Music of My Mind.] I got it for my 12th birthday, that one and fight the power by the Isley brothers. Songs in the key of life, my mum had this album at home, so it was kind of weird that I didn’t know the song…. I went back inside my manager’s house to use the bathroom before going out, and that’s when I heard the track. I walked into the studio and asked Doug, ‘Wow, who owns this track?’ Doug said, ‘Oh, that’s something I’m working on.’ I said, ‘Well, it’s mine!’ “
He added, “I sat down and started writing. Hearing the bass line, the chorus line and the hook, it just opened my mind. ‘As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death/I take a look at my life and see there’s nothing left’ that came out of the top of the dome and I wrote it. I thought about it for a minute, then I wrote the rest of the song without stopping, from the first verse to the third verse. You know, I like to think it was divine intervention. ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ wanted to be born; he wanted to come alive, and he chose me as his vessel.
Tommy Boy reportedly thought the song wouldn’t fit on his next album and added it to the film’s soundtrack instead.
It reached number one and became the biggest single of 1995. Its success guaranteed inclusion on his next album titled after the track, and it won a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance.
The song was so popular that Weird “Al” Yankovic parodied it with 1996’s “Amish Paradise”, which Tommy Boy endorsed, but Coolio did not. Coolio eventually admitted his ego got in the way and the two made amends. Wednesday, Yankovic shared a photo of the two of them hugging, with the caption “RIP Coolio”.
(And although he never released “Rollin’ With My Homies” as a single, the song had a iconic location in the 1995 movie clueless). His second set produced the hits “1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin’ New)”, which reached the Top Ten in 1996, and “Too Hot”.
While his music encapsulated many of the hallmarks that made gangsta rap so dominant in previous years, his affable and playful approach to his music and videos endeared him to a wider audience. He was tapped to rap the theme song for the Nickelodeon comedy series Kenan and Kel, “Oh that’s it.” He also started acting and he made his screen debut in a cameo for the 1996 comedy. Phat Beach and played a role in the 1997s batman and robin.
Freed Coolio My soul in 1997, which featured the single “CU When U Get There”. While he ran into legal troubles that derailed the success of that album – an arrest in Germany for alleged shoplifting and assault of the store owner and a charge of carrying a concealed weapon a year later in California – he continued to work in the acting field, playing the role of triplets in the film tyrone and was a regular at Hollywood Squares. His last album dates from 2009 bottom 2 top.