Coolio Has Passed Away At Age 59
In a breaking story, Hip-Hop artist Coolio died today (September 28). The Grammy Award-winning artist born Artis Leon Ivey Jr. was 59 years old. On Wednesday, he was found unresponsive at a friend’s residence in the rapper’s hometown of Los Angeles, California.
According to TMZ, EMTs arrived and pronounced Coolio dead on the scene after the artist was found unresponsive on the bathroom floor. An official cause of death has not been determined at this time. His longtime manager Jarez was told by authorities that they suspect he had suffered a heart attack.
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Before his platinum solo career, Coolio was a member of WC and The Maad Circle, appearing on 1991’s Ain’t A Damn Thang Changed. This followed some late 1980s 12″ solo singles. Following that Priority Records group role, Coolio signed with Tommy Boy Records to launch a solo career that included 1994’s It Takes A Thief, 1995’s Gangsta’s Paradise, and 1997’s My Soul.
During a time when N.W.A. alums Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and Eazy-E splintered to dominate the West Coast Gangsta Rap scene in the mainstream, Coolio represented a more accessible star. He sampled Funk and R&B, but made radio and video-friendly anthems that achieved crossover appeal. His albums included appearances by E-40, Kam, and Ras Kass.
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He released five subsequent albums independently. Outside of his personal catalog, Coolio appeared on albums by Montell Jordan, George Clinton, Baby Bash, and the late Mac Dre. It was eventually revealed that Coolio had recorded a song with Tupac Shakur, which was later erased.
Coolio’s title track from Gangsta’s Paradise, which appeared in the film Dangerous Minds, won the “Best Rap Song” Grammy Award in 1996. He was nominated six times in total throughout his Tommy Boy three-album tenure. Following his mainstream breakthrough, the MC expanded to acting, and eventually, reality television. He starred in Batman & Robin, Dear God, and Judgement Day.
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Shortly after his breakthrough, Coolio had several public legal battles, including a 2009 charge of cocaine possession. The artist pleaded guilty to those charges. He had previously been convicted of other crimes, including a weapons charge, and armed robbery.
In 2017, Coolio’s former band-mate Crazy Toones passed away. It was reported that he suffered a heart attack.
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Ambrosia For Heads extends condolences to the family, friends, and fans of Coolio.