Gangsta’s Paradise rapper Coolio has died at 59

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Gangsta’s Paradise rapper Coolio has died at 59

Known for one of the most enduring hits of the 90s, US rapper Coolio has died at the age of 59.

The ’90s was a time of high-top sneakers, velvet chokers, Tamagotchis, loads of denim and the most iconic rap song of its time, ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’.

The US rapper behind that song, Coolio, has died, aged 59, on Wednesday afternoon in Los Angeles. The musician, who was born Artis Leon Ivey Jr, was in California visiting a friend when he suddenly passed away, according to a TMZ report.

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The publication said the rapper’s manager, Jaraz, stated Coolio went to the bathroom and “when he didn’t come after a while” they discovered him on the floor. Paramedics were called but were unable to revive the star. According to the report, the 59-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene, with cardiac arrest suspected to be the cause of death.

An official cause of death is yet to be released.

Coolio made his mark in hip hop forever with ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ in 1995, with an unprecedented response from the public which still resonates today. The track is in simple terms, a global phenomenon. This ultimate throwback track is a reflection of the life of a gangsta, combining rap, popular culture and inspiring lyrics. The song’s creation also helped people through the rough times in their life, with its original meaning changing from what it was intended – according to the rap artist himself in a chat we had with him in the past.

“It was a long time ago anyway, I had one view of what it was; a ‘hood song. Then I found out that I couldn’t really do that anymore because it meant so many different things to so many different people that I just let it develop on its own and let it create its own space,” he told us of the song which quickly became a social statement about ‘ghetto’ life.

“I actually believe that the song gave me some type of divine intervention because it just came, and I wasn’t something that I really had to think about. I wrote the song so quickly it was almost as if I always knew it.”

With the hit gaining worldwide attention, it comes as a surprise that it was written in just under two hours. “I wrote it in an hour and a half or so, I mean it was written and recorded within four hours of me hearing it. It just happened like that, I can’t really explain it.”

With over 17 million records sold worldwide and eight studio albums behind him, Grammy award-winning and multi-platinum recording artist, the ’90s star continued releasing albums up until his final release in 2009.

Rest In Peace Coolio.