Artis Leon Ivey Jr., better known as Coolio has died. Coolio was an American Rap Artist who rose to fame in the 1990s. He is best known for the hit songs Gangsta’s Paradise and Fantastic Voyage. Coolio died at the Los Angeles home of a friend. The cause was not identified.
Coolio rose to fame first as a member of WC and the Maad Circle, and then as a solo artist. He scored hits with It Take a Thief and Fantastic Voyage.
It was Gangsta’s Paradise, a song from the film Dangerous Minds that earned Coolio a Grammy for Best Solo Rap Performance in 1995. The song was famous for sampling Steve Wonder’s Pastime Paradise.
Coolio’s popularity came at the time when there was a feud between West Coast and East Coast hip-hop. When he won the 1995 Grammy, he said”I’d like to claim this Grammy on behalf of the whole hip-hop nation, West Coast, East Coast, and worldwide, united we stand, divided we fall.” The feud would eventually lead to the deaths of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G.
Coolio had his problems outside the music studio. In 1998, a Stuttgart Germany court sentenced Coolio to six months probation and fined him $17,000.00 after being an accessory to a robbery and punching a shop owner. In 2016, Coolio and members of his team were arrested at Los Angeles International Airport for having a loaded firearm inside a bag at security. He was sentenced to three years probation and 45 days community service. In 2017, Coolio was denied entry (for unknown reasons) into Singapore.
In 2020, Coolio was the running mate for pornographic actress Cherie DeVille’s Democratic Presidential run.
On the day he died, Coolio was discovered unresponsive on a bathroom floor. By the time first responders arrived he was pronounced dead. While Police have opened an investigation into his death, foul play is not suspected. Coolio’s manager says the artist appeared to suffer a cardiac arrest.
Coolio is survived by six children.
Photo Credit: Coolio, Social Media