Coolio, the rapper best known for his hit “Gangsta’s Paradise,” has died, TMZ report and rolling stone. Citing his longtime manager, TMZ alleged that the rapper died suddenly while at a friend’s house on Wednesday night (September 28). He was 59 years old.
Born Artis Leon Ivey Jr. on August 1, 1963, Coolio moved from his hometown of Monessen, Pennsylvania to Compton, California, where he later attended the local community college. Coolio was a crack addict and juvenile delinquent, but decided to become a volunteer firefighter and landed a security job at the Los Angeles airport to kick the habit and pursue a better future. It was then that he turned to music to escape his problems.
When he was 24, Coolio recorded his very first single, “Whatcha Gonna Do?” and followed it up with “What Makes You Dance (Force Groove)” the following year. After befriending others on the Los Angeles scene, Coolio eventually joined hip-hop group WC and the Maad Circle and contributed to their 1991 debut album, Ain’t a fucking changed Thang.
Riding on local success, Coolio signed with Tommy Boy Records in 1994 and released his first solo album, It takes a thief. The lead single “Fantastic Voyage” propelled him to a new level of fame, thanks in part to the song’s music video which received major rotation on MTV. It peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and helped the album achieve Platinum status.
In 1995, Coolio released his most famous single, “Gangsta’s Paradise”, for the movie dangerous spirits. He exceeded the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks and became a staple on MTV and radio stations. The following year, “Gangster’s Paradise” won Coolio a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance and helped spawn one of “Weird Al” Yankovic’s most popular parody songs, “Amish Paradise.” . Coolio’s second studio album, gangster paradise, included the titular song when it was released in 1995 alongside the singles “1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin’ New)” and “Too Hot”. The album earned him two more Grammy nominations in 1997, including Best Rap Album and Best Rap Solo Performance for “Sumpin’ New.”
After releasing their third album My soul and his 1997 single “CU When U Get There”, Coolio would release five more studio albums, the most recent being 2009. bottom 2 top. Although it fell under the umbrella of the gangsta rap genre, Coolio bristled at the term and its implications. “Gangsta rap is a derogatory label,” he said. The Independent. “We rapped about our reality. They should have called it reality rap, or street rap, downtown rap. They just chose to call it gangsta rap to scare people. I don’t consider myself a gangsta rapper. But I’m probably more qualified to be a gangsta rapper than people who call themselves that. I have been through this life.