Rapper Best Known For Chart-Topping “Gangsta’s Paradise” Dies At 59

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On Wednesday September 29, 2022, rapper Coolio, who is best known for his ’90s hit “Gangsta’s Paradise,” was visiting a friend’s house in Los Angeles. While he was there, he went into the bathroom, and he was in there for so long that his friend started to call for him. Coolio didn’t answer.

Eventually, Coolio’s friend opened the bathroom door and discovered the rapper unresponsive on the floor. When the paramedics arrived around 4pm, they pronounced him dead. He was 59 years old.

No foul play is suspected. Police didn’t find any drugs or drug paraphernalia. The paramedics suspect cardiac arrest as the cause of death.

Sheila Finegan, Coolio’s talent manager, told TMZ, “We are saddened by the loss of our dear friend and client, Coolio, who passed away Wednesday afternoon. He touched the world with the gift of his talent and will be missed profoundly. Please have Coolio’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.”

Coolio was born Artis Leon Ivey Jr. He grew up in Compton, California, and got into drugs at a young age. He knew he needed to stop, so he decided to train to become a firefighter. In 1994, he told the Los Angeles Times, “In firefighting training was discipline I needed. We ran every day. I wasn’t drinking or smoking or doing the stuff I usually did.”

Coolio’s first hit was “Fantastic Voyage,” but his biggest hit was “Gangtsa’s Paradise” which was on the soundtrack of the film “Dangerous Minds.” In 1996, he won a Grammy for the song, but the song is still popular today. It has been streamed over 1 billion times on YouTube.

One reason Coolio believed “Gangtsa’s Paradise” stood the test of time was that he “didn’t use any trendy words…I think it made it timeless.” He explained, “It’s one of those kinds of songs that transcends generations.”

Coolio also worked on the theme song for the Nickelodeon show “Kenan and Kel” and has appeared on shows including “Celebrity Cook Off” and “Celebrity Chopped.”

Just two weeks before his death, Coolio performed at Riot Fest in Chicago. Watch his final performance in the video below.