Coolio - Fantastic Voyage
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Uploaded on Aug 27, 2011
From 1994 Album: "It Takes A Thief".....
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Coolio, born Artis Leon Ivey, Jr., on 1 August 1963, is an American musician, rapper, actor and record producer. He is best known for the songs "Fantastic Voyage" and "Gangsta's Paradise" as well his appearance on the reality television programs Celebrity Big Brother 2009 (UK) and The Surreal Life.
He recorded two singles in the late 80s, titled "Watcha Gonna Do" and "You're Gonna Miss Me". Neither single was successful, but Coolio had made connections in the Los Angeles rap scene, and ended up joining the group WC and the Maad Circle in 1991. WC was the group's lead rapper, but Coolio was another rapper in the group. He had a few verses on the group's debut album, Ain't a Damn Thang Changed, including on the single "Dress Code". The album was regionally successful but didn't make much impact on a national scale.
Three years later in 1994 Coolio signed to Tommy Boy Records and released his debut solo album, It Takes a Thief. The album contained the single "Fantastic Voyage" which became Coolio's breakout song. It peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it one of the biggest rap singles of the year. The album also contained a few minor hits in "County Line" and "I Remember". Overall the album was very successful peaking at #8 on the Billboard Hot 200 and being certified Platinum. The album received praise for bringing a humorous and lighthearted perspective to often violent and profane themes of typical gangsta rap
After the success of his debut Coolio became a legitimate rap star. In 1995 he made a song for the movie Dangerous Minds, and this song became "Gangsta's Paradise". "Gangsta's Paradise", which featured R&B singer L.V., would became one of the most successful rap songs of all time, reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 3 weeks. It was the #1 single of 1995 for all genres, and was a truly global hit, as it reached #1 in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Australia, and New Zealand. The song also created a controversy when Coolio claimed that parody artist Weird Al Yankovic had not asked for permission to make his parody of "Gangsta's Paradise", titled "Amish Paradise". At the 1996 Grammy Awards the song won Coolio a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance.
Originally "Gangsta's Paradise" wasn't meant to be included on one of Coolio's studio albums, but its extreme success led to Coolio not only putting it on his next album, but also making it the title track. The album Gangsta's Paradise was released in 1995 and with the mega-hit was certified 2X Platinum by the RIAA. The album also contained two other major hits in "1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin' New)" and "Too Hot". Despite no longer being an official member of the group, Coolio also made an appearance on the second WC and the Maad Circle album, Curb Servin', on the song "In a Twist". In 1996 Coolio had another top 40 hit with the song "It's All the Way Live (Now)" from the soundtrack to the movie Eddie. He was also featured on the song "Hit 'em High" from the soundtrack to the movie Space Jam with B-Real, Method Man, LL Cool J, and Busta Rhymes
Coolio and jazz saxophonist Jarez were enlisted in July 2008 as spokespersons by the group Environmental Justice and Climate Change to educate students at historically black colleges and universities about global warming.
Coolio is a spokesperson for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. He says that he and his children are asthma sufferers. As a child, he was taken to the hospital several times due to asthma complications.
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