Coolio, rapper behind “Gangsta’s Paradise” passes away at age 59

By Adrian Woods, Contributor

[Photo courtesy of Grunge.com]

On September 28, rapper Coolio unexpectedly passed away at a friends house at the age of 59. Reports came out from Rolling Stone on the day of his passing. Coolio is best known for the 1995 hit song “Gangstas Paradise”. 

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Coolio first entered the music scene with singles like “What Makes You Dance (Force Groove)”, and then joined the hip hop group WC and the Maad Circle. He featured on the group’s 1991 album Ain’t a Damn Thang Changed

Coolio signed with Tommy Boy Records in 1994. A year later he released his biggest hit and one of the most beloved songs in rap history, “Gangsta’s Paradise”. Not only would “Gangsta’s Paradise” be in the Top of the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks, but it went on to win a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance in 1996. The song also became a mainstay in sampling on radios and was parodied by “Weird Al” Yankovic in the song “Amish Paradise”. An album of the same name (Gangsta’s Paradise) would be released in the same year, going on to receive two Grammy nominations in 1997 for Best Rap Album and Best Rap Solo Performance for the song “Sumpin’ New”.

Coolio would continue his career by releasing six studio albums after “Gangsta’s Paradise”, with his last being From the Bottom 2 the Top in 2009. 

Coolio’s impact on the music scene will never be forgotten.

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