US rapper behind 'Gangsta's Paradise' dead at 59 - petsitterbank

US rapper behind ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ dead at 59

Coolio, the ’90s rapper who lit up the music charts with hits like Gangsta’s Paradise and Fantastic Voyage, you have died. He was 59.

Coolio, whose legal name was Artis Leon Ivey Jr, died at the The Angels home of a friend, longtime manager Jarez Posey told The Associated Press and CNN.

The cause was not immediately clear.

Coolio has died aged 59. The rapper was best known for the 1990s hit “Gangsta’s Paradise”. (Getty)

Coolio won a Grammy for best solo rap performance for Gangsta’s Paradisethe 1995 hit from the soundtrack of the Michelle Pfeiffer film Dangerous Minds that sampled Stevie Wonder’s 1976 song Pastime Paradise.

He was nominated for five other Grammys during a career that began in the late-1980s.

Born in Monessen, Pennsylvania south of Pittsburgh, Coolio moved to Compton, California, where he went to community college.

He worked as a volunteer firefighter and in airport security before devoting himself full-time to the hip-hop scene.

His career took off with the 1994 release of his debut album on Tommy Boy Records, It Takes a Thief.

Its opening track, Fantastic Voyagewould reach No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Coolio performs on day three of Riot Fest on September 18, 2022, at Douglass Park in Chicago, less than two weeks before his death. (Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP)
Coolio at the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Awards in 2015. (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

A year later, Gangsta’s Paradise would become a No. 1 single, with its dark opening lyrics:

“As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I take a look at my life and realize there’s not much left, ’cause I’ve been blastin’ and laughin’ so long, that even my mama thinks that my mind is gone.”

In the age of streaming, it has continued to live on.

In July 2022, the song reached a milestone one billion views on YouTube.

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

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

Speaking to the Los Angeles Times in 1994, he recalled falling into the drug scene but getting 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 the publication.

“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.”

Social media lit up with reactions to the unexpected death.

Coolio also has a special place in the hearts of some Millennials for his work on the theme song for the popular Nickelodeon TV series. Kenan and Kel and his contribution to the album Dexter’s Laboratory: The Hip-Hop Experimentwhich featured songs by various hip-hop artists that were inspired by the Cartoon Network animated series.

In recent years, Coolio 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 US network Oxygen, Coolio’s Rulesthat aired 2008.

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

coolie

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– Reported with CNN´╗┐ and Associated Press

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