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  • Coolio's real name is Artis Leon Ivey Jr. He was born on 1 August 1963 in Pennsylvania. In the mid-90s, the singer became extremely popular thanks to his big hit “Gangsta’s Paradise”, which turned into a classical gangsta-rap song of that time.

    When Artis was just two years old, his father left the family. The boy lived with his mother. When he was eight, they moved to Compton, California. Artis was one of four children in the family. He suffered from asthma. The young artist learned how to care for himself since early childhood. When he was in school, friends started calling him Coolio. Artis used the nickname as a pseudonym later in life.

    Ivey tried hard to become a good student and read a lot. However, when he was 17 years old, the young man went to jail for 9 months on robbery charges. After graduating from high school, Artis enrolled in a Community College in Compton.

    In 1985, the singer became addicted to cocaine. To fight the addiction, he moved to San Jose to live with his father and work as a firefighter. A year and a half later, Coolio came back home. He quit drugs and decided to devote his time to something more worthwhile.

    In Compton, Artis worked several small jobs to support his music hobby. In 1987, the singer recorded his first two songs, "You’re Gonna Miss Me" and "Watcha Gonna Do".

    In 1991, Coolio moved to Los Angeles and joined the band called WC and the Maad Circle. The first album recorded with the group was successful. It helped the artist sign a contract with the label, Tommy Boy, and start a solo career.

    Soon Coolie released his debut solo LP, It Takes A Thief. Songs from the album were played on MTV. In 1995, the singer recorded the leading track for the movie Dangerous Minds. At first, the movie received bad reviews from the critics, but eventually, it became very successful. The song “Gangsta’s Paradise” became an anthem for the entire generation of rappers. Many fans wanted to book Coolio for private events.

  • After some time, the artist released the album, Gangsta’s Paradise, which became extremely successful. It earned two platinum certifications in the USA and came in 9th on Billboard 200. Two years later, the singer presented a new LP, My Soul, which also went platinum in the USA but reached lower spots on the charts. After the release of the album, Tommy Boy canceled the contract with Coolio.

    In 1997, the artist faced troubles with the police in Germany. Next year, he broke the law in California. However, three years later, the rapper managed to deal with these problems and stopped illegal activities. He formed a label, Crowbar and began appearing at rap parties in Hollywood.

    The rapper also started working on small roles in movies and recording his new LP, El Cool Magnifico. The album came out in 2003. It featured several songs, recorded with other popular artists of that time. Associated Press and New York Post gave positive reviews to the album, calling each song a potential hit.

    Coolie became involved in social work and performed at charity events. In 2008, he presented a new LP, Steal Hear. After some time, he appeared on a reality show about his family called Coolio’s Rules. The show was aired on MuchMore.

    At the beginning of 2009, the musician worked on a reality show, Celebrity Big Brother, in the UK. The same year, he presented a new LP, From The Bottom 2 The Top. It was less popular than his previous work but earned good reviews from the fans.

    In May 2010, Coolio’s song "Fantastic Voyage" caused a scandal on TV. It was played without due censorship and featured offensive lyrics. The incident boosted Coolio’s popularity, which started to wane slightly.

    In 2015, the rapper presented his new album, Hotel C. Four years later, Coolio recorded a new LP, Nobody's Foolio.

    The rapper is still popular among hip-hop fans. He performs at private events, gives concerts, and works as a producer.

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