Our Top 10 Coolio Songs list looks at a rapper, producer and actor. He found success with his albums It Takes a Thief, Gangsta’s Paradise and My Soul. His hits include “Gangsta’s Paradise,” “Fantastic Voyage,” “1,2,3,4 (Sumpin’ New),” “C U When U Get There,” “Too Hot,” “It’s All the Way Live” and “Cruising.” In addition to his work in music, he is a chef. He has a web series called Cookin’ with Coolio. He also released a cookbook.
Artis Leon Ivey Jr was born on August 1, 1963. Coolio was a volunteer firefighter and security guard before he became a rapper. He joined a group called WC and the Maad Circle. They released an album called Ain’t a Damn Thing Changed in 1991. The album was successful locally. One thing led to another and he ended up being a solo artist. He released It Takes a Thief in 1994. The album peaked at number five on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts and number eight on the Billboard 200 charts. It features the singles “County Line,” “I Remember,” “Fantastic Voyage” and “Mama, I’m in Love with a Gangsta.” The album sold over a million copies.
Gangsta’s Paradise came out in 1995. The album peaked at number nine on the Billboard 200 charts and number 14 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. It features the singles “Gangsta’s Paradise,” “Too Hot,” “1,2,3,4 (Sumpin’ New)” and “Cruisin’.” He was nominated for a Grammy award for the album. He won a Grammy award for the single “Gangsta’s Paradise.” The album sold over two million copies. My Soul was released in 1997. It peaked at number 39 on the Billboard 200 charts and number 49 on the R&B and Hip-Hop charts. It features the singles “C U When U Get There,” “The Winner” and “Ooh La La.” The album sold over a million copies. Coolio.com came out in 2001. The album was only released in Japan. It features the singles “I Like Girls,” “Gang Bangers,” “Show Me Love,” “Would You Still Be Mine” and “Ghetto Square Dance.”
The Return of the Gangsta was released in 2006. It features the singles “Gangsta Walk,” “Do It,” “Make Money” and “One More Night.” From the Bottom 2 the Top came out in 2009. It features the singles “Boyfriend,” “Cruise Off” and “Motivation.”
Coolio found success early in his career. He is an award winner because of his successful singles. He may not have that many albums, but he manages to maintain his stardom through other outlets. Our Top 10 Coolio Songs list will feature his best songs.
# 10 – Gangsta Walk ft. Snoop Dogg and Gangsta Lou
The first song on our Top 10 Coolio Songs list is “Gangsta Walk” from the album The Return of the Gangsta. The song has a rap and hip-hop beat. The dope song is about gangster life in Italy. Coolio took a break between albums and returned with this single in 2006. Coolio and Snoop Dogg describe what it’s like to be a gangster. They make it seem like it’s cool to be a gangster. Most of us won’t be able to relate to the lyrics of this song, but you can enjoy hearing about the life of a gangster. They make it seem like a fascinating life even if we don’t know what it’s like to be gangsters.
Coolio and Snoop Dogg did a great job with this track. They both have excellent swag while they are rapping. Snoop Dogg is laid back and cool like he usually is on his songs. His verses are pretty big on the track. They are almost as big if not bigger than Coolio’s verses. Coolio is hyped up while he’s rapping. He gives off a lot of energy while he spits his rhymes. They have different rapping styles, but they come together and make the track work. The song has a catchy hook. The hook is one of the best parts of the song. Gangster Lou did his thing on the hook. You might find yourself singing along with him.
# 9 – The Winner ft. L.V.
The next song on our Top 10 Coolio Songs list is “The Winner” from the album My Soul and The Space Jam Soundtrack. The song has r&b and hip-hop sound. The motivational song is about someone who finally wins at something after years of trying. The song will encourage you not to give up on what you want. It will give you faith that your time to succeed will finally come. It teaches you to succeed. There aren’t too many hip-hop songs on the radio that encourage you not to give up. This song has a positive message for everyone. It has a timely message because people need faith now.
Coolio took a chance by tackling a subject like this one. It’s not the first subject rappers want to cover. They usually talk about the negative things that are going on in the world. It’s a nice change to hear someone rap about something positive. He proved that you can rap about positive things and the fans will listen. The song managed to peak in the Top 10 on the Hot 100 charts. He was nominated for awards for the song so it wasn’t a mistake to rap about having faith in yourself. The song has a catchy beat and doesn’t sound like hip-hop. It sounds like a crossover track. Coolio reunited with L.V. for the hook. They worked together on the mega hit “Gangsta’s Paradise.”
# 8 – Cruisin’ ft. Malika
The cool song is from the album Gangsta’s Paradise. It has an r&b and hip-hop beat. The fun song is about having a good time with someone you care about. He wants to go cruising with his girlfriend. This is Coolio’s attempt at a romantic song. He wants to have fun with his girlfriend by his side. This is a song we can relate to if we want to have fun with someone we love. You can also have a good time with friends so it doesn’t have to be a love song. This is a song you can listen to when you are in the car or at home chilling out.
This is the type of song that will get your head and feet moving. The sample helps make the song pop. The song features the sample “Cruisin’” by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. The song is arranged differently from the original version, but you can tell what the song is. There is an extra drumbeat in his version than there is in Smokey Robinson and the Miracles version. The tempo is a little faster thanSmokey Robinson and the Miracles version. Coolio’s flow is easy to follow. He slows things down for this track. His flow is on point. He is a genius when it concerns cool and laid back rapping. Malika is the other rapper on the track. She is outstanding. She does a give and take with Coolio that’s worth checking out. You won’t want to miss his duet with Malika. You will most likely put this song on repeat.
# 7 – Ooh La La
The upbeat song is from the album It Takes a Thief. The song has a hip-hop beat. The sensual song is about him having sex with someone. He wants the woman badly. This isn’t one of the first songs you think of when you think of bedroom music, but it does the job. Coolio managed not to be too graphic with the lyrics so you don’t have to wait until the kids are in bed to hear it. They may not be able to hear every lyric, but they can hear some of it. He mentions things in a sexual nature, but they might not notice it. This song is from Coolio’s debut solo album.
If you are a fan of Grace Jones’ hit “Pull Up to the Bumper,” than you will enjoy the beat of this song. Coolio uses the sample and it makes the song stand out. The sample compliments the song very well. This song is perfect to play at parties or cookouts. You could also hear it on the beach if you want chill out. He gets to show his sensitive side on this song. He doesn’t sound soft on it even though he isn’t tackling a hardcore subject. He still has swag on this track. You might have to check the lyrics to understand what he’s saying in the chorus because it doesn’t sound like a love song. If you aren’t sure what to say to your lady in order to get her to have sex with you, you can always play this track. It might do the talking for you.
# 6 – It’s All the Way Live (Now)
The lively song is from the Eddie Soundtrack. The song has a hip-hop beat. The popping song is about basketball. He raps about the players shooting the ball and dunking it. He found a way to make a rap about basketball. He shouts out different basketball players in this song. Coolio recorded another song for a soundtrack. We’re not surprised because he was responsible for the huge hit “Gangsta’s Paradise.” He wanted to try to make lightning strike with this track. It may not have been the hit “Gangsta’s Paradise” was, but it’s still a good song. This song isn’t designed to make you think. It’s a song to listen to when you want to sit back and have fun.
The beat to this jam is fantastic. It’s impossible to listen to it without wanting to get up and dance. The music will get you pumped up and give you a lot of energy. It will even give you an urge to play basketball. Listening to the beat will make you forget about what’s bothering you. You can get pumped and forget about your troubles for the remainder of the song. Coolio sampled Lakeside’s song of the same name. You would think it was a remake, but the similarities end with the music. Coolio provided the verses to make the song his own. He proved that he’s one of the best MCs in the business. His fans will wish he could record more music once they hear this jam.
# 5 – Too Hot
The next song on our Top 10 Coolio Songs list is “Too Hot” from the album Gangsta’s Paradise. The song has a hip-hop sound. The social song is about AIDS. He talks about how to keep people from getting the disease. The song is an eye opener about AIDS and how to avoid getting it. Coolio was inspired to write the song because of the death of rapper Eazy-E. He died from AIDS and it shattered the hip-hop community. They wanted to talk about AIDS after what happened to him. This is an important message that should be talked about, but it doesn’t get discussed too much in songs. Coolio deserves an A+ for taking on such a serious subject.
This message could reach a lot of people who are living with the disease and are afraid to talk about it. It’s also a good message for people who aren’t sure how to avoid getting AIDS. This song is on the same album as the big hit “Gangsta’s Paradise” so it could have easily been overshadowed. The message is too important to ignore. The song is proof that rappers didn’t have to just rap about their rhyming skills and all of the bling they have. Rap lyrics could actually have a deep message. The sample of Kool & the Gang’s “Too Hot” makes the song sound special. It makes Coolio’s song sound more haunting.
# 4 – C U When U Get There ft. 40 Thevz
The emotional song is from the album My Soul. The song has a hip-hop beat. The inspiring song is about people living their lives to the fullest while they still have a chance. If you want to achieve what you want, you have to step up and do whatever it takes to make it. You shouldn’t let fear keep you from doing what you want. Anyone who is suffering from mental or emotional issues can listen to this song to feel better. This track will give you hope that things will get better. Coolio took a chance recording this song since it’s not gangster rap. He chose to rap about an inspiring message to help people who are dealing with mental issues.
The song has genuine music in it. It has an electro beat and excellent strings. They came together to make intense music. It was the perfect beat for the positive message. The song has a choir in the background. There aren’t too many rap songs that have choirs included. Coolio was determined to be different from other rappers in the business. He wanted to take chances that other rappers wouldn’t take. He worked well with the choir. Coolio gave them room to shine on the track. Coolio sounded great as usual. He sounded very sincere as he was talking about people achieving what they want in life.
# 3 – 1,2,3,4 (Sumpin’ New)
The happy song is from the album Gangsta’s Paradise. The song has a hip-hop beat. The peppy song is about having a great party. Other rappers were rhyming about negative things that were going on in the world, but he wanted to talk about something fun. He wanted everyone to have a good time. We don’t blame him in the least. It’s a nice change to hear a song from a rapper about having fun. The song is a novelty song, but it will bring a smile to your face. The song is fun and you will have a great time for at least the remainder of the song. If you are going through sad times, this will be a song to listen to so you could feel better. It will put you in a good mood.
This is another track that’s on the same album as “Gangsta’s Paradise” so this song will naturally get overshadowed. It doesn’t have the same meaning as the hit song, but that doesn’t stop it from being a good song. The song has a few samples in it to create the sound. It samples the song “Thighs High (Grip Your Hips and Move” by Tom Browne, “Wikka Wrap” by the Evasions and “Good Times” by Chic. They all combine to make an excellent track. This is the right song to listen to when you want to party. You can expect to hear this song at cookouts or parties. Coolio’s rapping style is just perfect for this song. He sounds like he’s having a good time on this track.
# 2 – Fantastic Voyage
The meaningful song is from the album It Takes a Thief. The song has a hip-hop beat. The deep song is about putting differences aside and going to a place where race, money and gang association don’t matter. The song was meant to be a party song, but it turned out to be something deeper than that. Coolio wanted the listeners to have something to think about while they were listening to hypnotic beats. Rappers don’t talk about putting difference aside. They usually want to ignite wars with each other. Coolio wanted escapism. He wants a place where his kids can play and have fun. We can’t be mad at that at all. Coolio was tired of superficial rap songs and wanted to do something with meaning.
Coolio used another sample by Lakeside for his song. He used the song by the same name for this track. Coolio’s version is slower in tempo than Lakeside’s version. His version has a hip-hop and funk beat. The sample and the song were the perfect marriage. Once this song is on, expect people to get up and dance. The music is impossible to sit through without moving something. You will be dancing until the song is done. Coolio’s at the top of his game while he’s rapping the lyrics.
He sounds very passionate as he raps about putting differences aside. He will make you believe that it’s time to end needless feuds. This is a song we should all listen to so we can gain perspective on what’s going on in the world today. We aren’t surprised the song was a hit for Coolio because it has an important message. It could have been number one on our list, but there’s no way we could end the list without the song we chose for the top spot.
# 1 – Gangsta’s Paradise ft. L.V.
The number one song on our Top 10 Coolio Songs list is “Gangsta’s Paradise” from the album of the same name and the Dangerous Minds Soundtrack. The song has a hip-hop beat. The heartbreaking song is about a gangster who kills someone who turned on him. The title is a metaphor for the hood. He talks about a man dying because of street life. He describes what can happen if you keep living your life in the street. He examines the gangster’s life and what will happen if he refuses to leave the life. The song fits for the movie because a teacher is dealing with students who are living dangerous lives. We’re not surprised this song was chosen to be on the soundtrack. This is easily one of Coolio’s most recognizable songs.
As soon as you hear the first couple of notes of the song, you already know what this song is. Coolio sampled Stevie Wonder’s “Pastime Paradise” for the hit song. He must have been using a lucky rabbit’s foot when he decided to use this sample because it works perfectly with the song. Coolio’s lyrics are moving and powerful. You may find yourself mesmerized while listening to the deep lyrics. He tells a passionate story that may touch your heart. Coolio is a talented rapper and this song proves it. L.V. does an incredible job singing the chorus.
There’s no way to hear him singing the song without wanting to join him. He sings the chorus as if he’s taking the listeners to church and we are here for it. We’re not surprised this song won awards because the song is important. The only problem is the song will continue to follow him throughout his career.
Top 10 Coolio Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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