When hip hop fans think of songs that helped the genre cross over into mainstream, they think of Coolio’s “Fantastic Voyage” and “Gangsta’s Paradise,” two smash singles that ushered the way for MTV and radio’s acceptance of rap music. When people think of OGs that helped put the west coast on the map, Coolio certainly makes the cut. And when people think of true original in the game that look and sound totally unique, Coolio always comes to mind.
So it goes without saying that Freestyle 101 was excited to have the man himself step in the booth at The Engine Room in Hollywood over a bangin’ R.N.S. beat and do the damn thang. Out and about promoting his new Oxygen network reality show, Coolio’s Rules, and new album, Steal Hear, Coolio took some time out to spit off the top and give fans a glimpse into the early days of Cali hip hop. From talent show competitions to his tenure in WC and the Mad Circle to his multi-platinum career as a solo artist, Coolio has seen and done it all.
A new Freestyle 101 goes up every Tuesday at 9 a.m. PST (noon on the east coast). If you dig Coolio, then check out fellow west coast vets Ice-T, RBX, Tash, Ras Kass, Insane Poetry, and B-Real. Make sure to raise up in the Forums, peep us on Facebook and MySpace, and check out photo gallery. Make sure to come back next week for People Under the Stairs, followed by Sen Dog, Cappadonna, Teflon, Charli 2Na, Sunspot Jonz, Killah Sha and more.