Artis Leon Ivey Jr., higher often called Grammy Award-winning rapper, actor and producer Coolio, could have been born in Pennsylvania, however all through his profession, he all the time claimed Compton as his house turf. His demise yesterday at 59 was a shock to the L.A. hip-hop scene.
Arising in Compton, Coolio was already a well-respected emcee when he joined the group WC and the Maad Circle in 1991, contributing to their debut album “Ain’t a Rattling Thang Modified.” However every thing did change for him in 1995 when the movie “Harmful Minds” was launched along with his tune “Gangsta’s Paradise” on the soundtrack. The tune stayed on the Billboard Scorching 100 chart for 3 weeks, he gained a Grammy for finest rap solo efficiency and Bizarre Al Yankovic even did a canopy of it referred to as “Amish Paradise.” “Gangsta’s Paradise” turned one of the crucial profitable rap songs of then, and now, with Billboard rating it No. 85 on the record of the best songs of all time.
Whereas he may be finest identified for “Gangsta’s Paradise,” Coolio is much from a one- or two-hit marvel, attaining main label success all through the ’90s. His music additionally made appearances in Hollywood films (who may neglect Brittany Murphy singing “Rollin’ With My Homies” in “Clueless”?) Since then, Coolio not often slowed down, popping up on actuality TV reveals resembling “Celeb Huge Brother,” “Celeb Cook dinner-Off,” and “Coolio’s Guidelines,” and crossing the nation on excursions with rappers resembling MC Hammer and Sir Combine-a-Lot.
To point out our gratitude for his life and music, listed below are among the different hits from Coolio’s catalog.
“1,2,3,4 (Sumpin’ New)”
The second hip-hop followers heard the counting that kicked of the ’96 basic “1,2,3,4 (Sumpin’ New),” they knew it was time to bop. Coolio all the time excelled at delivering feel-good songs with a significant messageand this tune from the “Gangsta’s Paradise” album is a primary instance. Whether or not dancing within the automobile or grinding in a membership, when “1,2,3,4” got here on, you have been gonna stand up. After which, you have been gonna get down.
If you happen to’re of a sure age, there is no such thing as a tune that may make you miss the ’90s fairly like “Incredible Voyage.” It was a summer season banger, if a summer season banger lasted a whole yr plus a lifetime. Off his 1994 debut album “It Takes a Thief,” there was, and nonetheless is, nothing like cranking this tune to the very best decibel whereas cruising in your individual experience, eager to take that experience with Coolio. Whereas this tune lyrically is about flipping switches, set trippin’ and presumably getting steak to accompany beans and rice, it additionally contains the road, “If you happen to don’t work, you don’t eat,” making it a teachable second too.
“Aw, Right here It Goes!”
From 1996-2000, teenagers in all places couldn’t get sufficient of the Nickelodeon collection “Kenan & Kel,” staring Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell. And certain, Kenan and Kel have been all the fad, however that theme tune? Straight hearth. Double Ok tapped Coolio to document their intro and it felt like getting dessert earlier than dinner. Rapping about Ok&Ok’s misadventures and schemes, “Aw, Right here It Goes” additionally gave us a glimpse into how Coolio considered the fellows, likening them to “Siegfried and Roy or Abbott and Costello. Magic and Kareem, or Penn and Teller.”
Dr. Coolio checks in to present a intercourse training lesson in his 1995 hit “Too Scorching,” and each line he raps on this considerate tune continues to be legitimate in 2022. The message is one in every of respecting your physique and making good selections with it. And a good way to do this is to be protected sexually. “Latex, protected intercourse, you higher be taught.” Coolio was nice about speaking with the youthful technology. That’s what makes “Too Scorching” such an necessary tune, because it rings true even all these years later.
“C U When U Get There”
In 1997, off his third album, “My Soul,” Coolio dropped “C U When U Get There” that includes 40 Thevz and it was met with excessive reward across the globe. This tune hits so in another way with the passing of Coolio, because it turned considerably of an anthem used at funerals within the late ’90s. It’s an emotional tune of battle made extra intense by the refrain, all whereas delivering an inspirational message of selecting to place confidence in your self over falling to temptation. RIP, Coolio. “I assume I am going to see you whenever you see me.”
This story initially appeared in Los Angeles Occasions.