US rapper, producer, and actor — beloved for his ’90s hit ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ — passed away on Thursday aged 59.
Born Artis Leon Ivery Jr., but known by his stage moniker Coolio, Ivery was found dead in a bathroom while visiting a friend in Los Angeles.
Coolio’s manager Jarez told TMZ that the rapper went to use a friend’s restroom, but “when he didn’t come after a while” was discovered unconscious. Paramedics declared the artist dead at the scene, allegedly suspecting a cardiac arrest as the cause of death.
After starting his music career in LA as a member of the cult rap group WC and The Maad Circle, Coolio’s career trajectory skyrocketed after writing and performing the song ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ for the film Dangerous Minds, starring Michelle Pfeiffer.
Coolio would later write and record the theme song for the classic Nickelodeon television show Kenan & Kel, while also fostering an acting career with notable roles in action movies like Batman and Robin, and Judgement Day.
the way tv and hip-hop were so connected in the 90s is something i’ll never forget. and it gave us one of the best songs in the kenan and kel theme by coolio. rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/D4t9H28b1e
— nadirah (@hinadirah) September 29, 2022
RIP to the legend Coolio. I had the pleasure going to his house to do a cooking show with him and he gave me my first taste of fried turkey. He was a kind and funny dude
— Andy Milonakis (@andymilonakis) September 29, 2022
Tributes have started flowing in for the late rapper, with Australian rap artists paying tribute to Coolio’s influence on their work.
— Ice Cube (@icecube) September 29, 2022
Before Gangstas Paradise game, Coolio was part one of the illest West Coast rap groups with WC “LOW PROFILE” RIP a legend, pic.twitter.com/LByOhoygwb
— Senator Briggs (@Briggs) September 29, 2022
Coolio is survived by his six children.
Photo credit: Frans Schellekens/Getty Images
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