Coolio, the rapper who helped popularize hip-hop with “Gangsta’s Paradise”

The career of Coolio, the Californian rapper passed away this thursday in Los Angeles, USA at the age of 59, he helped popularize hip-hop and turn it into the mainstream genre it is today with anthems likeor “Gangsta’s Paradise” and other hit songs.

Born Artis Leon Ivey Jr., Coolio published numerous works throughout his life, but none received success like “Gangsta’s Paradise”, that became an anthem for an entire generation in the 1990s after being included on the soundtrack of “Dangerous Minds,” starring Michelle Pfeiffer.

The song It was one of the most popular topics of its time: It went triple platinum, it won a Grammy, it was number one on Billboard and its video clip, in which Michelle Pfeiffer also appeared, won numerous awards.

Later, the rapper regretted that the song had overshadowed the rest of his work. “Gangsta’s Paradise” was his second album, but He published seven more studio papers.

The popular album was followed by “My Soul” (1997), “” (2001), “El Cool Magnifico” (2002), “The Return of the Gangsta” (2006), “Steal Hear” (2008) and “From the Bottom 2 the Top” (2009).

none of them were at the height of the success of “Gangsta’s Paradise”. The song, according to the New York Times in a news of the film in the nineties, was on the verge of not being included in the film.

The theme fit perfectly with the story of an ex-marine turned high school teacher from a deprived area, who tries to connect with her students through unorthodox teaching.

Coolio’s life was that of many rappers of the time. From a sickly child -he had asthma-, he became a troubled young man because of his relationship with drugs and youth gangs.

Years later, before launching into the world of music in the Los Angeles rap scene in the 1990s, religion helped him overcome his addictions, he said. In fact, the first verses of “Gangsta’s Paradise” are inspired by the beginning of Psalm 23:4.

“As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I take a look at my life and realize there’s nothin’ left” nothing remains”).

After the success of the nineties, Coolio made a pretty successful transition as an actor and his presence was common in television series in the United States -sometimes playing his own character- and also in movies.

He participated in the ‘”pinoff” of the film for a television series in 1996, and in projects such as “Embrujadas” (“Charmed”, 2002), “Sabrina” (“Sabrina the Teenage Witch”, 1996) and provided the voice of to characters from “Futurama”, among others.

He also acted in the movie “Daredevil” (2003) and even had a cooking show “Cooking with Coolio” (2008).

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