‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ Rapper Coolio Dies at 59


LOS ANGELES — Coolio, the rapper who was amongst hip-hop’s largest names of the 1990s with hits together with “Gangsta’s Paradise” and “Incredible Voyage,” died Wednesday at age 59, his supervisor stated.

Coolio died on the Los Angeles residence of a buddy, longtime supervisor Jarez Posey informed The Related Press. The trigger was not instantly clear.

Coolio received a Grammy for greatest solo rap efficiency for “Gangsta’s Paradise,” the 1995 hit from the soundtrack of the Michelle Pfeiffer movie “Harmful Minds” that sampled Stevie Surprise’s 1976 track “Pastime Paradise” and was performed always on MTV.

The Grammy, and the peak of his reputation, got here in 1996, amid a fierce feud between the hip-hop communities of the 2 coasts, which might take the lives of Tupac Shakur and The Infamous B.I.G. quickly after.

Coolio managed to remain principally above the battle.

“I’d like to assert this Grammy on behalf of the entire hip-hop nation, West Coast, East Coast, and worldwide, united we stand, divided we fall,” he stated from the stage as he accepted the award.

Born Artis Leon Ivey Jr., in Monessen, Pennsylvania south of Pittsburgh, Coolio moved to Compton, California. He spent a while as a teen in Northern California, the place his mom despatched him as a result of she felt the town was too harmful.

He stated in interviews that he began rapping at 15 and knew by 18 it was what he needed to do along with his life, however would go to group faculty and work as a volunteer firefighter and in airport safety earlier than devoting himself full-time to the hip-hop scene.

His profession took off with the 1994 launch of his debut album on Tommy Boy Data, “It Takes a Thief.” It’s opening observe, “Incredible Voyage,” would attain No. Three on the Billboard Sizzling 100.

Coolio throughout 1994 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio Metropolis Music Corridor in New York Metropolis, New York, United States.

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

A 12 months later, “Gangsta’s Paradise” would turn out to be a No. 1 single, with its darkish opening lyrics:

“As I stroll by the valley of the shadow of dying, I check out my life and notice there’s not a lot left, ‘trigger I’ve been blastin’ and laughin’ so lengthy, that even my mama thinks that my thoughts is gone.”

Social media lit up with reactions to the sudden dying.

“That is unhappy information,” Ice Dice stated on Twitter. “I witness first hand this man’s grind to the highest of the business. Relaxation In Peace, @Coolio.”

“Bizarre Al” Yankovic tweeted “RIP Coolio” together with an image of the 2 males hugging.

Coolio had stated in an interview on the time it was launched that he wasn’t cool with Yankovic’s 1996 “Gangsta’s Paradise” parody, “Amish Paradise.” However the two later made peace.

The rapper would by no means once more have a track almost as large as “Gangsta’s Paradise,” however had subsequent hits with 1996’s “1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin’ New)” (1996), and 1997’s “C U When U Get There.”

His profession album gross sales totaled 4.eight million, with 978 million on-demand streams of his songs, based on Luminate. He can be nominated for six Grammys general.

And along with his distinctive persona he would turn out to be a cultural staple, appearing often, starring in a actuality present about parenting known as “Coolio’s Guidelines,” offering a voice for an episode of the animated present “Gravity Falls” and offering the theme music for the Nickelodeon sitcom “Kenan & Kel.”

He had occasional authorized troubles, together with a 1998 conviction in Stuttgart, Germany, the place an boutique store proprietor stated he punched her when she tried to cease him from taking merchandise with out paying. He was sentenced to 6 months probation and fined $30,000.

He was married to Josefa Salinas from 1996 to 2000. That they had 4 youngsters collectively.

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