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.