Coolio, whose iconic hits embodied the spirit of ’90s hip-hop, has died


(KTLA) — Los Angeles rapper Coolio has died, reports say. He was 59 years old.

The rapper had several hits in the mid-’90s, including “Gangsta’s Paradise” and “Fantastic Voyage.” He died late Wednesday afternoon, according to TMZ. Coolio’s manager Jarez Posey also confirmed the artist’s death to Rolling Stone.

Coolio, real name Artis Leon Ivey Jr., was born August 1, 1963 and grew up in Compton. His early career success came at a time when Southern California rappers were dominating the Billboard charts.

His first two albums, “Gangsta’s Paradise” and “It Takes a Thief” shot up the charts and were massive commercial and critical successes.

He won a Grammy for his single “Gangsta’s Paradise,” which was used as the theme song for the 1995 movie “Dangerous Minds.”

Coolio’s mainstream success launched a high-profile acting career, including more than 100 roles, according to the Internet Movie Database.

Younger audiences might know him better from his theme song and introduction to Nickelodeon’s hit comedy series “Kenan and Kel.”

Ultimately, his career will be remembered for his iconic rap tracks that perfectly encapsulated 1990s West Coast hip-hop.

His cause of death is unclear at this time, but TMZ reported that doctors at the scene identified cardiac arrest as the likely cause. His Instagram page shows him live only a few days ago.

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