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Coolio, a veteran West Coast rapper who found fame in the 1990s, has reportedly died of unknown causes. As the story is still developing, many on social media are offering up tributes for the West Coast artist as the news continues to develop.
Coolio, real name Artis Leon Ivey Jr., was a member of the West Coast collective, WC and the Maad Circle, consisting of lead rapper WC, Big Gee, and DJ Crazy Toones, Coolio’s brother, who passed away from a heart attack in 2017 at the age of 45.
According to TMZ, Coolio passed away Wednesday (September 28) while visiting a friend of his per the account of his manager. After entering a restroom at the home, Ivey was later found laying on the floor unresponsive.
Coolio was born August 1, 1963, in Monessen, Pa., according to a Wikipedia entry, and took up residence in Compton, Calif. After a stint at Compton Community College, he eventually began his rap career in the late 1980s and then joined WC and the Maad Circle before breaking out on his own as a solo act
Coolio was a beloved figure known for his signature braids and outsized personality. His biggest hit was “Gangsta’s Paradise,” which was featured in the film Dangerous Minds and also netted him a Grammy Award. Another big hit for Coolio was the G-Funk classic “Fantastic Voyage,” released in 1994 via Tommy Boy Records.
Throughout the mid-1990s and much of the early 2000s, Coolio found a niche as an actor appearing in several movie and television roles, and he also provided the theme song to the Nickelodeon series, Kenan & Kel. As an actor, Coolio notched over 100 credits along with other achievements. He also recently performed at the Riot Fest in Chicago, Ill. alongside Ice Cube and others.
Rest Powerfully in peace in that Gangsta’s Paradise, Coolio.
Keep scrolling to check out tributes to the artist via Twitter.