Fans will get a taste of the final music recorded by Coolio on Friday (March 17) when the first single from the “Gangsta’s Paradise” star’s posthumous album hits streaming. The song, “TAG ‘You It’,” features legendary West Coast MC Too $hort and it will preview the full-length, LONG LIVE COOLIO, whose release date has not yet been announced.
Coolio died at 59 in Sept. 2022 of suspected cardiac arrest; to date no official cause of death has been announced. According to a statement announcing the project, the first single from rapper’s follow-up to 2009’s From the Bottom 2 the Top was produced by and also features the rapper’s longtime friend DJ Wino. The statement about the collection and the video for “TAG” — which will also drop on Friday — says it was originally intended for release while Coolio was still alive and that they pay “homage to 90s hip-hop… the song is catchy, raunchy, and raw in all of the right ways. Paired with an extravagant video, this song is certain to create controversy and buzz.”
Indeed, the boxing-themed visual featuring a bevy of video vixens twerking finds $hort and Coolio dropping R-rated rhymes over a bouncy West Coast beat and the chorus, “Freeze tag, you it/ Freeze tag, she’s it/ Freeze tag, you it never gone be yours cuz it’s all about the bag.” After $hort’s predictably bawdy first verse, Coolio pulls up for his own NSFW run, including the lines, “Still livin’ with yo mama no plan to move though/ Common hoe, average hoe, Obama hoe/ She full of drama bro/ Find you a real one funky feel one/ One you can trust not have to kill one.”
Following his death, Coolio’s longtime manager, Jarez Posey, confirmed that the rapper (born Artis Leon Ivey Jr.) was found on the floor of a bathroom at his friend’s house and pronounced deceased at the scene.
Coolio placed six hits on the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart, including the No. 1 smash “Gangsta’s Paradise,” featuring L.V, from the film Dangerous Minds. The single spent three weeks atop the list in 1995 and finished as the year-end No. 1 song on the Hot 100. It also ruled the Hot Rap Songs list for 11 consecutive weeks. The track would go on to win the Billboard Music Award for single of the year, and a Grammy Award for best rap solo performance. In 2021, “Gangsta’s Paradise” ranked among the 100 Greatest of All Time Hot 100 Songs.