The ’90s rapper, who lit up the music charts with hits like “Gangsta’s Paradise” and “Fantastic Voyage,” has died, his friend and manager Jarez Posey told CNN. He was 59 years old.
Coolio died Wednesday afternoon local time in Los Angeles, Posey said.
Details of the situation were not immediately available.
Contacted by CNN, Los Angeles Fire Department Captain Eric Scott confirmed that firefighters and paramedics responded to a call in the 2900 block of South Chesapeake Avenue around 4 p.m. local time for a report of a medical emergency. When they arrived, they found the man unresponsive and “performed resuscitation efforts for approximately 45 minutes.”
“The patient was pronounced dead just before 5:00 p.m.,” Scott said.
“We are saddened by the passing of our dear friend and client, Coolio, this afternoon,” Sheila Finnegan, Coolio’s talent manager, said in a statement to CNN.
“He touched the world with the gift of his talent and will be greatly missed. Thanks to everyone around the world who listened to his music and to everyone who contacted him about his passing. Please keep Coolio’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.”
Actor Lou Diamond Phillips also expressed his condolences as he recounted some of his memories with the actor.
“I am completely stunned. Coolio was a friend and one of the warmest, funniest people I’ve ever met. We had an amazing time making Red Water in Cape Town and loved getting into the kitchen. It was one of a kind. Epic, legendary and I will miss it,” Phillips said Tweet.
Former NBA player Matt Bonner also reminisced about his time with Coolio Twitter post The rapper was a “huge hoops fan … we hosted him at a game a few years ago … biggest crowd ever at a Spurs overtime concert.”
Coolio grew up in Compton, California, according to his bio on his official website.
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times in 1994, he recalled falling into the drug scene but extricating himself with a career as a firefighter.
“I wasn’t looking for a career, I was looking for a way to get clean — a way to get away from the drug thing,” he told the publication. “It was going to kill me and I knew I had to stop. I needed discipline in fire training. We ran every day. I wasn’t drinking or smoking or doing the things I normally do.”
His rap career began in the 80s and rose to fame in the underground scene.
“Fantastic Voyage” was the first song that really put him on the map.
From the soundtrack to the movie “Dangerous Minds”, his biggest song, “Gangsta’s Paradise” increased his star power immensely. He won a Grammy in 1996 for this song.
In the age of streaming, it has continued. In July 2022, the song reached one billion views on YouTube.
“It’s one of those songs that transcends generations,” he said in a recent interview. “I didn’t use any trendy words…I think it became timeless.”
In his career, Coolio sold more than 17 million records, according to his website.
Coolio also holds a special place in the hearts of some Millennials for his work on the theme song for the Nickelodeon TV series “Kenan & Kel” and his contributions to the album “Dexter’s Laboratory: The Hip-Hop Experiment”. by various hip-hop artists who were inspired by the Cartoon Network animated series.
In recent years, Coolio has enjoyed a nostalgic persona with television appearances on shows such as “Celebrity Cook Off” and “Celebrity Chopped.”
He also had a show on Oxygen, “Coolio’s Rules”, which aired in 2008.