Culture

Rap Veteran Coolio Dead At 59

Coolio, known for his Grammy-winning hit “Gangsta’s Paradise” died on Wednesday at 59-years-old, according to his longtime manager.

Grammy-winning rapper Coolio has reportedly died at 59-years-old, according to a new report from TMZ. On Wednesday (September 28), the rapper was found deceased when he reportedly visited a friend’s house. Coolio, whose real name is Artis Leon Ivey Jr., went to the bathroom and didn’t return. After Ivey’s friend repeatedly called for him, they entered the bathroom where the “Gangsta’s Paradise” rapper was found lying on the floor.

Although officials have not confirmed Ivey’s cause of death, it’s suspected that he suffered from cardiac arrest.

“As far as what I know now is that he was at a friend’s house and was in his bathroom and had a heart attack,” his manager Jarez Posey said per NBC News.

Born in Monessen, Pennsylvania, Ivey was raised in Compton, California where he attended Compton Community College and got his start in rap in the ’80s. Ivey broke into the mainstream towards the ’90s with his 1994 debut album It Takes A Thief on Tommy Boy Records, which boasted his first hit single “Fantastic Voyage.” The album was certified platinum, followed by Ivey’s 1995 sophomore album Gangsta’s Paradise. The titular song was featured on the Dangerous Minds soundtrack and went on to win a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance in 1996. Ivey released six more solo albums during his life, concluding with From the Bottom 2 the Top in 2009.

Along with a fruitful music career, Ivey was an accomplished actor, with roles in Batman & Robin, The Convent, Daredevil and guest appearances on The Parent ‘HoodMartinThe NannyFuturama and more. In 1996, Ivey contributed the theme song to Nickelodeon sitcom Kenan & Kel.

Read tributes to Coolio below.

 

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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