Damn, another legend gone too soon. RIP to Coolio, who died yesterday at the way too young age of 59. I’m not going to tell you I knew every song in Coolio’s catalogue, but Gangsta’s Paradise is a first ballot Hall of Fame rap song. Released in 1995, Gangsta’s Paradise hit No. 1 on the charts and earned Coolio a Grammy for his efforts. The view count on the music video alone is north of one billion. That’s billion with a B.
If you really want to have your mind blown, check out the original source that Coolio sampled for the song: Stevie Wonder.
Coolio is one of the first rappers I remember seeing at a young age and just immediately understanding oh this guy is ice cold cool. As an entrepreneur Coolio was pretty ahead of his time as he understood crossover appeal and the benefit of tapping into audiences that may not have been as familiar with Compton rappers. Case in point, the absolute banger of a theme song for Kenan and Kel.
Not to mention linking up with Cartoon Network to do a rap about Dexter’s Lab.
And if you’re not into rap, but are somehow still reading this blog, Coolio was the basis for one of Weird Al Yankovic’s most well known parody songs, Amish Paradise. So there’s that. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery after all.