Coolio, ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ rapper, dead at 59



Coolio, the ’90s rapper who lit up the charts with hits like “Gangsta’s Paradise” and “Fantastic Voyage,” has passed away, his friend and manager Jarez Posey told CNN. He was 59.

Posey said Coolio died in Los Angles in the afternoon local time on Wednesday.

Details of the circumstances were not immediately available.

When CNN contacted him, Los Angeles Fire Department Captain Erik Scott confirmed that firefighters and paramedics responded to a call on the 2900 block of South Chesapeake Ave at 4 p.m. local time. for reports of a medical emergency. When they arrived, they found an unresponsive man and “performed CPR attempts for about 45 minutes.”

The patient “was diagnosed dead just before 5 p.m.,” Scott said.

“We are saddened by the loss of our dear friend and customer, Coolio, who passed away this afternoon,” said a statement to CNN from Coolio’s talent manager Sheila Finegan.

“He has touched the world with the gift of his talent and will be greatly missed. Thank you to everyone around the world who listened to his music and to everyone who reached out regarding his passing. Please have Coolio’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.”

Actor Lou Diamond Phillips also offered his condolences while reminiscing with the artist.

“I am absolutely stunned. Coolio was a friend and one of the warmest, funniest people I’ve ever met. We had a great time together making Red Water in Cape Town and we loved going head to head in the kitchen. He was one of a kind. Epic, legendary and I’ll miss him,” Phillips said in a… tweet.

Former NBA player Matt Bonner also recalled the time he spent with Coolio, saying in one: Twitter post the rapper was a “huge hoops fan…we hosted him at a game a few years ago…the biggest crowd of all time at a Spurs Overtime concert.”

Coolio grew up in Compton, California, according to a bio on his official website.

Speaking to the Los Angeles Times in 1994, he recalled getting into the drug business but getting out by pursuing a career as a firefighter.

“I wasn’t looking for a career, I was looking for a way to clean up — a way to escape the drug scene,” he told the publication. “It would kill me and I knew I had to stop. In firefighting training, discipline was what I needed. We ran every day. I didn’t drink or smoke or do the things I used to do.”

His rap career started in the 1980s and he gained fame in the underground scene.

“Fantastic Voyage” was the first song that really put him on the map.

Arguably his biggest song, “Gangsta’s Paradise”, from the soundtrack of the movie “Dangerous Minds”, his star power grew to gigantic proportions. He won a Grammy for the song in 1996.

It has lived on in the age of streaming. In July 2022, the song reached the milestone of one billion views on YouTube.

“It’s one of those songs that crosses generations,” he said in a recent interview. “I didn’t use trendy words…I think it made it timeless.”

During his career, Coolio sold more than 17 million records, according to his website.

Coolio also holds a special place in the hearts of some millennials for his work on the theme song for the hit Nickelodeon TV series “Kenan and Kel” and his contribution to the album “Dexter’s Laboratory: The Hip-Hop Experiment”, which features songs by various hip-hop artists who were inspired by the Cartoon Network cartoon series.

In recent years, Coolio has enjoyed the perks of being a nostalgic figure, making television appearances on shows like “Celebrity Cook Off” and “Celebrity Chopped.”

He also had a show on Oxygen, “Coolio’s Rules”, which aired in 2008.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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