‘If I Wasn’t Doing Hip-Hop, I might Be Lifeless, in Jail or on Medicine’


Coolio as soon as credited his music profession with protecting him alive and wholesome.

The “Gangsta’s Paradise” rapper, who died on Wednesday at age 59, opened as much as PEOPLE in 2005 for a wide-ranging interview that touched on his profession, his private life and his aspirations.

In the course of the revealing chat, Coolio mirrored on a extreme bout with author’s block, which he mentioned discovered him questioning his intentions in creating music.

The Grammy Award-winning rapper mentioned he felt as if his report label was “controlling,” and in a second of frustration, determined to stop the trade.

“I began promoting information and I acquired caught up within the enterprise,” he mentioned. “It turned a enterprise and I wasn’t liking it anymore.”

Regardless of his grievances, Coolio (actual title Artis Levon Ivey Jr.) mentioned his day without work solely lasted six months, as a second of readability helped him notice that he must be making the music he wished to be making for himself and nobody else.



SGranitz/WireImage Coolio

“I used to be rapping for me. If I am rapping for cash or not rapping for cash, what f—ing distinction does it make if I like what I am doing?” he mentioned. “I disagree with folks doing one thing like this only for cash. In order for you cash, go be a lawyer. In order for you cash, go play the inventory market. You may earn money quicker than you do in hip-hop.”

Coolio mentioned he felt as if lots of his friends have been within the trade solely to earn money — and for him, the aim could not be extra completely different, as music was his lifestyle.

RELATED: Al Yankovic Posts Tribute to Coolio as Late Rapper’s Views on ‘Amish Paradise’ Re-Emerge

“This s— is my life… If I wasn’t doing hip-hop, I might be useless, in jail or on medicine proper now,” he mentioned. “It saved my life, it is taken care of my household, it is made me imply one thing to folks and allowed me to have a voice. It is allowed me to journey the world, and it is opened my thoughts and I respect it.”

He continued: “I am an entire completely different particular person than I might’ve been due to what I’ve finished and what I’ve seen and the sort of folks I acquired to fulfill. Name me a hater or no matter, however in case you do not [respect hip-hop] then I do not respect you.”

The late star was born in Monessen, Pennsylvania in 1963, and later moved to Compton, California, the place he attended Compton Group Faculty earlier than changing into a rapper.



Daniel Boczarski/Getty Coolio

He launched the hit single “Gangsta’s Paradise,” that includes singer L.V., in 1995. The music topped the Billboard Sizzling 100 for 3 weeks and received the Grammy Award for greatest rap solo efficiency on the 1996 Grammys.

Coolio launched eight albums all through his profession, the latest being From the Backside 2 the High in 2009.

RELATED: Michelle Pfeiffer, Kenan Thompson, Snoop Dogg and Extra Pay Tribute to Coolio: ‘Heartbroken’

His supervisor Jarez Posey confirmed to PEOPLE that the star died Wednesday in Los Angeles. His explanation for dying has not been shared publicly.


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