Coolio

Coolio

Biography

Artis Leon Ivey Jr. (born August 1, 1963), better known by the stage name Coolio, is an American musician, rapper, actor, and record producer. Coolio achieved mainstream success in the mid 1990's with his albums It Takes a Thief, Gangsta's Paradise, and My Soul. He is best known for his Grammy winning hit single "Gangsta's Paradise", as well as other singles "Fantastic Voyage", "C U When U Get There" and "1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin' New)".

He recorded two singles in 1987, titled "Watch Gonna Do" and "You're Gonna Miss Me". Coolio made connections in the Los Angeles rap scene, and in 1991, ended up joining the group WC and the Maad Circle, led by rapper WC. He had a few verses on the group's debut album Ain't a Damn Thang Changed, including on the single "Dress Code". The album was regionally successful. In 1994, Coolio signed to Tommy Boy Records and released his debut solo album It Takes a Thief. The lead single "Fantastic Voyage" received heavy rotation on MTV, and peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100. "Fantastic Voyage" would become one of the biggest rap singles of the year, and the album contained a few other minor hits in "County Line" and "I Remember". It Takes a Thief peaked at #8 on the Billboard 200, becoming certified Platinum. The album received praise for bringing a humorous and lighthearted perspective to often violent and profane themes of typical gangsta rap.

In 1995, Coolio made a song for the movie Dangerous Minds, which was titled "Gangsta's Paradise". "Gangsta's Paradise", which featured R&B singer L.V., would become one of the most successful rap songs of all time, reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 3 weeks. It was the #1 single of 1995 for all genres, and was a global hit, as it reached #1 in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Australia, and New Zealand. The song also created a controversy when Coolio claimed that parody artist "Weird Al" Yankovic had not asked for permission to make his parody of "Gangsta's Paradise", titled "Amish Paradise". At the 1996 Grammy Awards, the song won Coolio a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance.

Discography

Coolio - It Takes A Thief

Coolio - It Takes A Thief

Tommy Boy 1994
Coolio - Gangsta's Paradise

Coolio - Gangsta's Paradise

Tommy Boy 1995
Coolio - My Soul

Coolio - My Soul

Tommy Boy 1997
Coolio - Fantastic Voyage: The Greatest Hits

Coolio - Fantastic Voyage: The Greatest Hits

Tommy Boy 2001
Coolio - El Cool Magnifico

Coolio - El Cool Magnifico

D3 Entertainment 2002
Coolio - The Return Of The Gangsta

Coolio - The Return Of The Gangsta

Hardwax Records 2006
Coolio - Steal Hear

Coolio - Steal Hear

Super Cool Entertainment 2008

Guest Appearances

G.A.T. Gangstas & Thugs - Just Another Day
  • Doin' My Time

G.A.T. Gangstas & Thugs - Just Another Day

MCA Records 1995
Montell Jordan - This Is How We Do It
  • Payback

Montell Jordan - This Is How We Do It

PMP Records, Rush Associated Labels 1995
Quincy Jones - Q's Jook Joint
  • Stomp

Quincy Jones - Q's Jook Joint

Qwest Records 1995
Tavaris - Straight Butta
  • Straight Butta

Tavaris - Straight Butta

Trak Records 1995
WC And The Maad Circle - Curb Servin'
  • In A Twist

WC And The Maad Circle - Curb Servin'

London Records, Payday 1995
Dazzie Dee - Where's My Receipt
  • On My Cide

Dazzie Dee - Where's My Receipt?

Capitol Records 1995
H Bomb - In Yo' Face
  • Connect The Dot

H Bomb - In Yo' Face

Spoiled Brat Entertainment 1996
Ras Kass - Soul On Ice
  • Drama

Ras Kass - Soul On Ice

Priority Records 1996
Dazzie Dee - The Re-Birth
  • On My Cide

Dazzie Dee - The Re-Birth

Raging Bull Records 1996
40 Thevz - Honor Amongst Thevz
  • One For The Money

40 Thevz - Honor Amongst Thevz

Mercury 1997
H-Bomb - Narcissism
  • Connect Tha Dot

H-Bomb - Narcissism

Insomnia Records 1997
Blondie - No Exit
  • No Exit

Blondie - No Exit

Beyond Music 1999
Outlawz - Ride Wit Us Or Collide Wit Us
  • Good Bye

Outlawz - Ride Wit Us Or Collide Wit Us

Outlaw Recordz 2000
Brandy Moss-Scott - Girlfriend
  • Tears Of A Clown

Brandy Moss-Scott - Girlfriend

Mecca Records 2000
LV & Prodeje - The Playground
  • In The Hood

LV & Prodeje - The Playground

Active Entertainment 2002
Rappin’ 4-Tay - Gangsta Gumbo
  • Yo

Rappin’ 4-Tay - Gangsta Gumbo

Liquid 8 Records 2003
Shorty - Short Stories
  • What Up Loc

Shorty - Short Stories

Bow Tie Entertainment 2006
Balance & Big Rich - Unda Dogg Kingz
  • Nothing Changed

Balance & Big Rich - Unda Dogg Kingz

Catier Entertainment 2007

Compilations

Dangerous Minds (Music From The Motion Picture)
  • Gangsta's Paradise

Various - Dangerous Minds (Music From The Motion Picture)

MCA Soundtracks 1995
New Jersey Drive Vol. 1 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  • Thru The Window

Various - New Jersey Drive Vol. 1 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Tommy Boy 1995
Space Jam (Music From And Inspired By The Motion Picture)
  • Hit 'Em High (The Monstars Anthem)

Various - Space Jam (Music From And Inspired By The Motion Picture)

Warner Sunset Records, Atlantic 1996
America Is Dying Slowly
  • I Breaks Em Off

Various - America Is Dying Slowly

EastWest Records America 1996
Sway & King Tech - Wake Up Show Freestyles Vol. 2
  • Freestyle

Sway & King Tech - Wake Up Show Freestyles Vol. 2

All City Records 1996
Eddie - The Soundtrack
  • (It's) All The Way Live (Now)

Various - Eddie - The Soundtrack

Hollywood Records, Island Black Music 1996
George Clinton - Greatest Funkin' Hits
  • Atomic Dog (Dogs Of The World Unite Remix)

George Clinton - Greatest Funkin' Hits

Capitol Records 1996
The Lawhouse Experience Vol. 1
  • Entrace

Various - The Lawhouse Experience Vol. 1

Street Life Records, Lawhouse Records, Attic 1997
In Tha Beginning...There Was Rap
  • Money (Dollar Bill Y'All)

Various - In Tha Beginning...There Was Rap

Priority Records 1997
Nothing To Lose - Music From And Inspired By The Motion Picture
  • C U When U Get There

Various - Nothing To Lose - Music From And Inspired By The Motion Picture

Tommy Boy 1997
Slam - The Soundtrack
  • The Park

Various - Slam - The Soundtrack

Immortal Records, Sony Music Soundtrax, Epic 1998
Half-Baked - Music From The Motion Picture Soundtrack
  • (I'm In Love With) Mary Jane

Various - Half-Baked - Music From The Motion Picture Soundtrack

MCA Records 1998
DJ Rectangle - Vinyl Combat
  • Intro

DJ Rectangle - Vinyl Combat

Worldwide Heavyweight Inc. 2000
Held Up - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
  • The Walk

Various - Held Up - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Spot Music Group, Inc. 2000
Gang Tapes The Album
  • In The Hood

Various - Gang Tapes The Album

Activate Entertainment LLC 2002
Insane Poetry ‎- History: Rare & Unreleased
  • Life's A Gamble

Insane Poetry ‎- History: Rare & Unreleased

Grim Reality Entertainment 2009