This Day in Hip Hop and Rap History
Host: Chuck D w/ Duke Eatmon & Ron Maskell
August 1st, 2012
August 1st - Coolio was born Artis Leon Ivey Jr. in Monessen, Pennsylvania, on this day in 1963.
After recording two singles in the late 1980’s, “Watcha Gonna Do” and “You’re Gonna Miss Me”, which achieved only mild success, Coolio joined WC And The Maad Circle in 1991 and appeared on the group’s debut album “Ain’t A Damn Thing Changed.”
In 1994, Coolio signed with Tommy Boy Records and released his hugely successful debut solo album “It Takes A Thief”, which spawned the hit “Fantastic Voyage”, a sort of hip-hop cover of the early 1980’s Lakeside classic of the same name.
In 1995, Coolio recorded the hit song “Gangsta’s Paradise” for the Hollywood Pictures drama “Dangerous Minds”, starring Michelle Pfeiffer.
The hit single, which borrowed heavily from Stevie Wonder’s 1976 classic “Pastime Paradise”, featured L.V. on the chorus.
“Gangsta’s Paradise” was one of the most successful rap singles of all time, staying at number one on the U.S. Billboard Charts for three straight weeks.
“Gangsta’s Paradise” would also be the name of Coolio’s sophomore album, released the same year, going double-platinum in the process on the strength of the title track and two more hit singles “Too Hot” and “1,2,3,4 (Sumpin’ New).”
During this time, Coolio also appeared on the latest WC And The Maad Circle album “Curb Servin’.”
Coolio was also featured on the soundtracks to the films “Eddie”, starring Whoopi Goldberg and “Space Jam” starring basketball legend Michael Jordan.
Coolio’s next album would be 1996’s “My Soul” which featured the smash hit “C U When I Get There.”
Coolio has released five more albums since then.
He’s also appeared on the television reality shows “Celebrity Big Brother 2009” and “The Surreal Life” as well as appearances on several sitcoms like “The Nanny”, “Malcolm & Eddie” and “Charmed.”
Coolio has also had roles in major motion pictures as well like “Batman And Robin”, “Daredevil”, “Exposed” and “Burn Hollywood Burn” with Chuck D of Public Enemy, who also happens to share Coolio’s birthday.
Coolio, an asthma sufferer since childhood, is a spokesman for the “Asthma And Allergy Foundation Of America.”