New music from Coolio is on the way, nearly a year after the “Gangsta’s Paradise” artist passed away in September 2022.
“A Star Is Born,” rapper Artis Leon Ivey Jr.’s first posthumous single, premiered Friday. A posthumous album titled Long Live Coolio will follow later this year, the Associated Press reported Friday.
The four-minute song, which chronicles Coolio’s rise to stardom while growing up in Compton, is one of eleven songs on Long Live Coolio. The album features a handful of guest artists, including hip-hop group Naughty By Nature’s Treach, hip-hop artist MC Shan, and longtime Coolio collaborator DJ Wino, who can be heard on “A Star Is Born.”
“He laid it out for us,” Wino said the Associated Press, which spread the word. “It was up to us to get through, and like good little foot soldiers we followed him.”
Long Live Coolio will be the ninth studio album from the Fantastic Voyage artists. Other featured artists include Ras Kass, Kid Frost, Da Lench Mob rapper J-Dee, Too Short, Cejaz Negraz, singer Jay Chris, Kurupt and Tha Chill.
Coolio died on September 28, 2022 after being found lifeless on the bathroom floor at a friend’s house, manager Jarez Posey said TMZ. He was 59.
“We are saddened by the loss of our dear friend and customer Coolio,” manager Sheila Finegan told the Times in a statement in September. “He touched the world with the gift of his talent and we will miss him deeply.”
The Los Angeles County coroner said in April the rapper died of complications from fentanyl, heroin and methamphetamine and ruled the death an accident.
Coolio rose to fame in the early ’90s and was known for hits like “1,2,3,4” and “CU When U Get There.” However, the 1995 song “Gangsta’s Paradise” made him famous. The song, which included Stevie Wonder’s 1976 song “Pastime Paradise,” climbed the charts to become the #1 Billboard single in 1995 and sold more than 6 million copies. It transcended media and was prominently portrayed in the 1995 film Dangerous Minds, starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Courtney B. Vance and George Dzundza.
“Gangsta’s Paradise” was nominated for Record of the Year at the 1996 Grammy Awards, winning for its rap solo performance.
Coolio was also a reality TV star, chef and cookbook author, and for a moment the potential mayor of his hometown.
He leaves 10 children. He was married to Josefa Salinas, who died just months after him in November 2022.