Coolio began his career in the 1980s but rose to fame in 1995 with the release of “Gangsta’s Paradise.”
The song gained increased airplay by being featured in the R-rated high school drama “Dangerous Minds.” He would later go on to win a Grammy for the track in 1996.
American rapper Coolio died Wednesday in Los Angeles, California, his longtime manager has confirmed. The musician was 59 years old.
Citing manager Jarez, TMZ reported that Coolio had been at a friend’s home, and that he was found dead on the bathroom floor after excusing himself moments earlier. He was pronounced dead at the scene by first responders.
Although an official cause of death has not been determined, it’s believed the rapper died after suffering a cardiac arrest.
Aside from the “Gangsta’s Paradise” hit song, Coolio was also known for “Hit ’em High,” “Rolling With My Homies” and “Fantastic Voyage,” among other tracks. He also created the intro song to the 1996 Nickelodeon show “Kenan & Kel.”
thank you coolio for giving us one of the best theme songs of all time pic.twitter.com/flk2lHHhSW
— lauren badillo milici ???????? (@motelsiren) September 29, 2022
Fellow musicians and fans alike have taken to social media to express their sorrow and highlight Coolio’s contribution to the industry.
RIP Coolio, whose one massive hit overshadowed a formidable run of classic West Coast bangers. An original member of the Maad Circle & Compton representative – with an undeniable star quality, humor, charisma, and a gift for making street tales mainstream without sanitizing them pic.twitter.com/DEyMqEOJfs
— Otto Von Biz Markie (@Passionweiss) September 29, 2022
“Before there was ‘Gangsta’s Paradise,’ there was Coolio’s debut single, ‘County Line,’ which encapsulated all the qualities that explained his success. A heavy subject matter – being broke and needing welfare & food stamps – but making it an anthem about scamming the government,” wrote fellow rapper Biz Markie.
“At his best Coolio was a middle-ground between Cube and Fatlip: self-deprecating but serious.”
Rest In Peace Coolio☹️ your name will always be cemented in hiphop , and thank you for being there for the Tannies since the beginning ???? pic.twitter.com/o9RMoDncMM
— (Semi-ia) BIitzz????????’s FLO & Megan (@yoongisgunner) September 29, 2022
Coolio has sadly passed away at the age of 59.
His hit ‘Gangstas Paradise’ is one of the most iconic hip hop songs of all time. RIP ????️???? pic.twitter.com/D52M3MAXVM
— Hip Hop All Day (@HipHopAllDayy) September 29, 2022
Rest in peace, Coolio. ???? pic.twitter.com/SmIv0wy9ao
— Muppet History (@HistoryMuppet) September 29, 2022
First CD I ever bought in my life and the most legendary Wing 10 Last Dab these eyes have ever seen RIP Coolio pic.twitter.com/Feu3wwe98S
— Sean Evans (@seanseaevans) September 29, 2022
“This is sad news,” commented Ice Cube.
Despite the success of his sophomore album, Coolio would later go on to part ways with his record label – Tommy Records – after his third album and subsequent collection failed to gain attention and break music charts. His song “C U When U Get There” was his last Top 40 hit in the US.
Over the years, Coolio would occasionally appear on reality TV shows such as “Wife Swap,” and “Celebrity Big Brother,” and appearances on “The Nanny.” He also voiced himself on a 2013 episode of “Gravity Falls.”
Remembering Coolio’s Appearance in Gravity Falls… Rest in Power man… pic.twitter.com/SPxDCiohF4
— Chris DeRose #NewDeal4Animation (@ScratchyDerose) September 29, 2022
In September 2016, the musician was arrested for carrying a loaded firearm inside a bag at California’s Los Angeles International Airport, ultimately being put on 3 years probation for the offense. A year later, he was denied entry to Singapore, where he was scheduled to perform at a Formula One event.
Born Artis Leon Ivey Jr., the musician, producer and actor is survived by his ex-wife and six children.