Coolio estate to release posthumous album 'Long Live Coolio,' final music video out now
NEW YORK — The estate of rapper Coolio plans to release a studio album later this year that the Grammy-winning hitmaker had been working on in the days before he died.
“Long Live Coolio” will be the first posthumous album release from the “Gangsta’s Paradise” star and the first single, "TAG 'You It,'" dropped Friday featuring Too $hort and DJ Wino.
The raunchy single’s video — that begins with Coolio and Too $hort in a boxing ring as various women gyrate — marks the last piece of visual content Coolio appeared in before his death from cardiac arrest on Sept. 28, 2022, at age 59.
Coolio won a Grammy for best solo rap performance for "Gangsta’s Paradise," the hit from the soundtrack of the Michelle Pfeiffer film "Dangerous Minds" that sampled Stevie Wonder’s 1976 song "Pastime Paradise" and was played constantly on MTV.
The rapper would never again have a song nearly as big as "Gangsta’s Paradise," but had subsequent hits with “Fantastic Voyage” in 1994, "1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin’ New)" in 1996 and 1997’s "C U When U Get There."
His career album sales totaled 4.8 million, with 978 million on-demand streams of his songs, according to Luminate. He would be nominated for six Grammys overall.
Coolio's Grammy win, and the height of his popularity, came in 1996, amid a fierce feud between the hip-hop communities of the two coasts, which would take the lives of Tupac Shakur and The Notorious B.I.G. soon after.
Coolio managed to stay mostly above the conflict.
"I’d like to claim this Grammy on behalf of the whole hip-hop nation, West Coast, East Coast, and worldwide, united we stand, divided we fall," he said from the stage as he accepted the award.
He released a total of eight albums: 1994's "It Takes a Thief," 1995's "Gangsta's Paradise," 1997's "My Soul," 2001's "Coolio.com," 2002's "El Cool Magnifico," 2006's "The Return of the Gangsta," 2008's "Steal Hear" and 2009's "From the Bottom 2 the Top."
He starred in a reality show about parenting called "Coolio’s Rules," provided a voice for an episode of the animated show "Gravity Falls" and performed the theme music for the Nickelodeon sitcom "Kenan & Kel."
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Contributing: Charles Trepany, USA TODAY