Musicians and entertainers are paying tribute to rapper Coolio, who died Wednesday in Los Angeles. He was 59.
Born Artis Leon Ivey Jr., Coolio was greatest identified for his megahit “Gangsta’s Paradise,” which was used within the 1995 movie “Harmful Minds,” starring Michelle Pfeiffer. The tune earned the artist a Grammy for Finest Rap Solo Efficiency in 1996. He additionally had hits with “Implausible Voyage” and “1,2,3,4 (Sumpin’ New)” and “It’s All of the Manner Reside (Now).”
Amongst those that remembered Coolio on social media had been “Weird Al” Yankovic, who was concerned in a feud with the rapper when he launched the tune “Amish Paradise.” They later mended fences. Ice Dice, Questlove, Debbie Harry, Martin Lawrence and M.C. Hammer additionally paid tribute to the Compton-raised musician.
Because the hip-hop neighborhood displays on his music and affect, Chuck Creekmur, CEO of AllHipHop.com, stated Coolio was greater than only a rapper: he was one of many griots of hip-hop who shared the tough realities of his neighborhood.
“If you happen to take heed to the lyrics, it’s not glorifying the [gangster] life but it surely’s truly somebody that’s actually working their means out of it — or a minimum of attempting to elucidate their perspective,” he stated. “And so it resonated with so many individuals.”
Creekmur stated Coolio’s Grammy win got here throughout a time “when rap wasn’t actually revered as artwork.” Coolio additionally confirmed different artists there was a “pathway to do music that’s adjoining to gangster rap,” he stated.
Whereas Coolio completed a lot in his profession as a musician, successful an American Music Award and a number of MTV Video Music Awards other than his Grammy, Creekmur stated the rapper was typically underappreciated as an artist.
“I feel that in music typically, in hip-hop particularly, far too typically we dissipate artists and we spit them out,” he stated. “And I feel that when you’re spit out, you’re left within the wilderness to fend for your self.”
Creekmur stated Coolio discovered methods to remain related as a artistic by journeying into tv. He created the theme tune for “Kenan and Kel,” showing within the present’s intro, and likewise starred in “Cooking with Coolio” and “Coolio’s Guidelines.” Coolio additionally made appearances on the large display screen within the 1997 film “Batman & Robin” and Dracula 3000 in 2004, amongst others. Coolio’s singular type, like his signature stand-up braids, was one in every of his many traits that made him distinctive. Creekmur additionally stated Coolio spoke intelligently about his artistry and created music that had fact.
“He spoke about issues like HIV and the ramifications behind promiscuity,” Creekmur stated.
As for Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise,” launched over 25 years in the past, Creekmur stated it stays a treasure within the hip-hop neighborhood.
“We’re going to be listening to ‘Gangster’s Paradise’ endlessly,” Creekmur stated. “There’s no questioning that.”