- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Rap star Coolio reportedly died Wednesday in Los Angeles. He was 59.

Celebrity-news site TMZ reported Wednesday evening that the 1990s hip-hop star best known for the #1 hit “Gangsta’s Paradise” died of cardiac arrest while visiting a friend.

“Coolio went to the bathroom at his friend’s house, but when he didn’t come after a while … the friend kept calling for him, and eventually went in and found Coolio laying on the floor,” TMZ reported, citing Jarez, the rapper’s longtime manager.



TMZ said that the friend, whom it did not name, called paramedics, who pronounced him dead at the scene.

Jarez told TMZ that “the paramedics suspect he suffered cardiac arrest.,” though no official cause of death has been released.

Coolio had been known in the West Coast rap scene for a time but became a national star when he hit #1 on the Billboard pop chart and in numerous countries outside the U.S. — rare for a rap song at the time — for “Gangsta’s Paradise,” which featured in the Michelle Pfeiffer film, “Dangerous Minds.”

The song heavily sampled and riffed off Stevie Wonder’s 1976 hit “Pastime Paradise,” and, in an ironic turnabout, became a big enough hit to be parodied by “Weird” Al Yankovic — in “Amish Paradise.”

Coolio’s other hits included “1,2,3,4 (Sumpin’ New),” “It’s All the Way Live (Now)” and “Fantastic Voyage.”

 

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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