‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ rapper Coolio dies aged 59 - News - Mixmag
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‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ rapper Coolio dies aged 59

Snoop Dogg and Michele Pfeiffer have paid tribute to the iconic West Coast rapper

  • Words: Becky Buckle | Photo: Timothy Krause
  • 29 September 2022
‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ rapper Coolio dies aged 59

Coolio has died aged 59, the West Coast rapper's manager confirmed yesterday (September 28).

Famous for his Grammy-award-winning track ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’, Coolio - real name is Artis Leon Ivey Jr - career began in 1994 with his debut album ‘It Takes a Thief’.

More recently, Coolio appeared on Celebrity Big Brother as well as made his own cooking series online.

His passion for cooking even saw him in 2013 plan to auction his music rights to ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ in order to pursue his career as a chef.

This year, the track ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ made it to one billion views on YouTube. “I want to thank everybody for all the years of love and being there for me,” Coolio said to Billboard. “I hope I got you through some good times and got you through some bad times.”

Before joining the hip hop world, Coolio moved from Monessen, Pennsylvania to Compton, California and worked as a volunteer firefighter and in airport security.

His early work for firefighting crews in the San Jose area was “a way to clean up”, he told the Los Angeles Times in 1994. “In firefighting training was the discipline I needed. We ran every day. I wasn’t drinking or smoking or doing the stuff I usually did.”

Since the announcement of his death many big names have posted tributes to the artist including Michele Pfeiffer who starred in the film Dangerous Minds which famously used ‘Gangsta's Paradise’ in the soundtrack.

Pfeiffer said she believes that the song is the "reason our film saw so much success" and that she still gets "chills" whenever she hears it.

Her post on Instagram includes a clip of her in the music video with Coolio with her statement continuing: “A life cut entirely too short” adding: “I remember him being nothing but gracious.”

Snoop Dogg has shared on Instagram an image of them both on the set of the music video to their collaborative track ‘Gangsta Walk’.

Check out more tributes below as well as the iconic ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ music video.

Becky Buckle is Mixmag's Video and Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter

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