Coolio, the 90s Hip-Hop star who won a Grammy for his classic hit “Gangsta’s Paradise” has died. He was 59. HipHopWired was one of the first to break the news on the evening of Sept. 28.
Details surrounding the rapper’s death are still unclear, but CNN reported that on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Fire Department and paramedics arrived at the 2900 block of South Chesapeake Ave. to find Coolio “unresponsive.” Medical officials tried to resuscitate the Compton native for “approximately 45 minutes,” but to no avail. The rapper was pronounced dead “just before 5:00 P.M.” local time, Capt. Erik Scott of the Los Angeles Fire Department told the news outlet.
In a statement, Coolio’s talent manager Sheila Finegan 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.”
Coolio’s meteoric rise
The rapper burst on to the music scene in the 80s after he gained popularity in the underground Hip-Hop world. His career took off following the release of his funk-tinged Hip-Hop smash “Fantastic Voyage.”
The song appeared on his debut album It Takes a Thief in 1994, peaking at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Then, two years later, Coolio struck gold when he dropped “Gangsta’s Paradise,” which appeared on the soundtrack to the film Dangerous Minds.
In 1996, the West Coast figurehead won a Grammy for the song in the Best Rap Performance, Solo category. Amazingly, the track continues to dominate streaming sites today. In July, “Gangsta’s Paradise” hit a streaming milestone of over one billion views on YouTube, Billboard noted.
“It’s the only song I’ve written where I never picked up my pen,” Coolio told Virgin Media Ireland during a recent interview in July. “I never looked up to think about it. I wrote it as if I already knew it.”
The star added:
“It’s one of those kinds of songs that transcends generations. I didn’t use any trendy words…I think it made it timeless.”
Over his career, Coolio sold more than 17 million records, according to his website.
In recent years, the Hip-Hop icon made a transition to Hollywood. He appeared on several different TV shows and movies including Leprechaun in The Hood and the motion picture Retirement where he co-starred alongside Bill Cobb and the late Charlie Murphy. He also had a reality TV show with Oxygen in 2008 called Coolio’s Rules.
Our warmest condolences go out to Coolio and his entire family.
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