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Hip-hop loses legendary ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ rapper Coolio at 59



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Image source: Pitchfork

The rap scene lost another legend as reports emerged of the death of Coolio, a name that helped rap reach new heights in the 1990s.

The news emerged after friend and manager Jarez Posey made the announcement that the artist passed away on Wednesday afternoon.

The details

According to Capt. Erik Scott of the Los Angeles Fire Department, firefighters and paramedics received a call for a medical emergency.

They drove to 2900 block of South Chesapeake Ave. at 4 pm, where they found an unresponsive male.

Scott said they performed resuscitation efforts for approximately 45 minutes.

However, the patient was determined dead before 5 pm.


Coolio’s talent manager Sheila Finegan released a statement, saying:

“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 will be missed profoundly.”

“Thank you to everyone worldwide who has listened to his music and to everyone who has been reaching out regarding his passing.”

“Please have Coolio’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.”


When the news of Coolio’s death emerged, actress Michelle Pfeiffer, who starred in the film Dangerous Minds, which featured his most popular song “Gangsta’s Paradise” with LV, posted her grief on Instagram.

Her post featured a clip from the music video, which she also starred in.

“Heartbroken to hear of the passing of the gifted artist Coolio,” the post reads.

“A life cut entirely too short. As some of you may know, I was lucky enough to work with him on Dangerous Minds in 1995.”

“He won a Grammy for his brilliant song on the soundtrack – which I think was the reason our film saw so much success.”

“I remember him being nothing but gracious. 30 years later, I still get chills when I hear the song.”

“Sending love and light to his family. Rest in Power, Artis Leon Ivey Jr.”

Many names across entertainment, music, and sports paid tribute to Coolio, including Ice Cube, Vanilla Ice, MC Hammer, Flavor Flav, LL Cool J, Matt Bonner, and Lou Diamond Phillips, to name a few.


Coolio’s music career started as early as the 1980s, but it wasn’t until the 1990’s when he cemented his name in hip-hop with Gangsta’s Paradise.

The hip-hop legend was born in Pennsylvania but grew up in the LA suburb of Comption.

In 1994, Coolio shared that he fell into the drug scene but later pulled himself 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 thing,” he told Los Angeles Times.

“It was going to kill me and I knew I had to stop.”

“In firefighting training was discipline I needed. We ran every day. I wasn’t drinking or smoking or doing the stuff I usually did.”

From there, Coolio would focus on rap, making a name for himself in the underground scene.

While his song “Fantastic Voyage” gave him momentum, it was Gangsta’s Paradise that propelled Coolio into the limelight.

The song was not only featured in the film Dangerous Minds, it also earned him several awards, including a Grammy in 1996.

Despite nearing 30 years, Gangsta’s Paradise continues to be one of the most streamed songs, reaching one billion views on YouTube in July 2022.

“It’s one of those kinds of songs that transcends generations,” Coolio said in a recent interview.

“I didn’t use any trendy words…I think it made it timeless.”


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

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