It wasn’t quite most of his life, but 27 years after its initial release — and 5 after it was uploaded to YouTube — Coolio‘s iconic 1995 “Gangsta’s Paradise” has joined the one billion views club. The news hit this week that the title track from the spike-haired rapper’s 1995 sophomore album, which also famously appeared in the 1995 Michelle Pfeiffer education drama Dangerous Minds, had crossed the billie mark.
In a video marking the blessed event, Coolio, 58, held up his phone as it played the clip while displaying the gaudy 7-figure numbers. “Yo, what’s up y’all? We just hit one billion,” he said. “I want to thank everybody for all the years of love and being there for me. I hope I got you through some good times and got you through some bad times, cuz he damn sure got me through some… it’s on and it’s on and it’s on.”
In an accompanying caption, he noted that the song is about to hit 1 billion streams on Spotify, adding, “Big shout out to Doug Rasheed LV DJ Wino Paul Stewart Tom Silverman Monica Lynch The 90s Tommy boy staff And artist roster The 40 Thevz The original members of GAT my family my Homies from the park Mona that is Josefa Salinas Jarel Jarez Posey Derrick D Dog Grandberry Spoony Cee Billy Boy Lekrat P.S. the terror MiMi Mima Karr thank you everyone I love y’all till the casket drop R.I.P. Jackie Mae Jones (my moma) Delano Reed Art Hall DJ Crazy Toones.
The video directed by Antoine Fuqua featured star Pfeiffer reprising her role in the movie as she lays down some tough talk on the rapper, who recites the song’s hard-hitting lyrics in half-shadow in between clips from the film. The visual took home the best rap video award at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards the same year it was crowned the best-selling single on Billboard‘s year-end Hot 100 chart after spending 12 weeks in the top 2 positions on the chart; it spent a total of 62 weeks on the chart.
“Weird Al” Yankovic famously parodied the tune — which interpolates Stevie Wonder’s 1976 song “Pastime Paradise” — as “Amish Paradise.” Watch the “Gangsta’s Paradise” video below.
This song is the property of Tommy Boy Records.