Coolio, Iconic ’90s Rapper, Dead at 59

by Joe Rutland
(Photo Courtesy Getty Images)

Iconic rapper Coolio, who achieved great acclaim and success in the 1990s, died on Wednesday in Los Angeles, according to TMZ. Coolio was 59. He reportedly was visiting a friend late in the day when he passed away. Jarez, who is Coolio’s longtime manager, said that Coolio went to the bathroom at a friend’s house.

When he did not come back out after a bit of time, the friend kept calling for him to come out. But the friend eventually went in and found Coolio on the floor. This friend reportedly called EMTs. Once they arrived, they pronounced Coolio dead on the scene. Paramedics, according to Jarez, are suspecting that he suffered cardiac arrest. No official cause of death has been determined at this time. Police have reportedly opened a death investigation. No sign of foul play is evident at this time.

Coolio Shared Thoughts About Family, Career In 2010 Interview

Coolio’s real name is Artis Leon Ivey Jr. The singer-rapper started making inroads on the Los Angeles rap scene back in the 1980s. Yet his national acclaim happened to kick in at 1995. That’s when he released Gangsta’s Paradise. The song would be part of the soundtrack for Dangerous Minds which starred Michelle Pfeiffer. It would hit the No. 1 spot and stay there for three weeks. Other notable hits include Fantastic Voyage from 1994, 1,2,3,4 (Sumpin’ New), and It’s All the Way Live (Now).

Coolio had some interesting things to say in a 2010 interview with The Minnesota Daily. At the time, he had just released his cookbook titled Cooking with Coolio: 5 Star Meals at a 1 Star Price. He was asked what he hoped people think of when they hear of or think of his name. “When people think of my name, I want them to say ‘That’s a cool mother[expletive]. He’s cool as [expletive].” The rapper was asked what keeps him going artistically. “I love to rap,” he told the outlet. “Three of my sons rap, my daughter sings, my nephew raps; my family is real musical and we are very creative.”

Rapper Had One More Idea For His Final Job

In this interview, he was asked who was the best rapper of all time. Coolio did not say himself. “Don’t know yet,” he said. “Ask me that when I’m diagnosed with a terminal disease or I got six months to live, or whatever. Ask me that when I’m on death row. In my waning years, when it gets to the point I know I’m gonna die, I’m gonna become a serial killer. I’m gonna be a serial killer before I die. I’m going to kill, like, rapists, [expletive] child molesters and [expletive] like that. That’s gonna be my last job.”