Rap icon Coolio passed away on Wednesday, aged 59
The rap scene lost another legend when news broke of Coolio’s death, a name that took rapping to new heights in the 1990s.
The news came after friend and manager Jarez Posey announced the entertainer had passed away on Wednesday afternoon.
Los Angeles Fire Department Captain Erik Scott said firefighters and paramedics received an emergency medical call.
They drove to the block of South Chesapeake Ave. at 4:00 p.m. where they found a man who was unresponsive.
Scott said they performed CPR attempts for about 45 minutes.
However, the patient was determined to have died before 5 p.m.
Sheila Finegan, Coolio Talent Manager, said:
“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.”
Michelle Pfeiffer mourns with other stars
When news of Coolio’s death broke, actress Michelle Pfeiffer, who starred in the movie Dangerous Minds, which featured her favorite song “Gangsta’s Paradise” with LV, took to Instagram to share her grief.
Her post included a snippet of the music video 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 in entertainment, music and sports have 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 musical career began in the 1980s, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that he solidified his name in hip-hop with Gangsta’s Paradise.
The hip-hop legend was born in Pennsylvania but grew up in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton.
In 1994, Coolio shared that he entered the drug business but later exited and pursued 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 and make a name for himself in the underground scene.
While his song “Fantastic Voyage” gave him momentum, it was Gangsta’s Paradise that put Coolio in the spotlight.
The song was not only included in the movie Dangerous Minds, it also earned him several awards, including a Grammy in 1996.
Despite being nearly 30 years old, Gangsta’s Paradise remains one of the most streamed songs, hitting a billion views on YouTube by 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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