The first time I heard rap music was Blondie’s “Rapture.” I remember thinking it was interesting and moved on with life. In time, I was exposed to the likes of the Beastie Boys, RUNDMC, Insane Clown Posse, and others, but the the music never truly drew me in. Like most country music, it wasn’t for me. My headphones in the 1980s were filled with the likes of Led Zeppelin, Rush, and Pink Floyd. If I was walking to or from school, Led Zeppelin’s “In Through the Out Door,” was likely blaring out my ears, causing me to have to listen to lectures from adults about early deafness.
I was 25 years old when Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” was released as well as Weird Al’s parody “Amish Paradise.” I remember watching them one after the other on MTV, which I thought was a cool way for people to compare the two immediately as well as introducing fans of one or the other artist to another genre of music.
By the time I was 25, my listening ways were set in, mainly to the music I enjoyed and found comfort and solace in as a teenager. Still, Coolio’s music always made me sit up and listen whenever I heard it.
I vaguely recall Coolio being upset with Weird Al over the making of “Amish Paradise,” but filed it away in my brain of “non-important matters” to me. I always assumed they made up. It turns out they did.
When I read the news stating Coolio had passed away, I thought it a shame. Like most famous people, we never truly know what a person is like on the inside, but the Twitter screen shot above tells me all I need to know about the man.
I have a huge respect for people who can admit when they are wrong. It’s not an easy thing to do. Even more respect goes to the man who can admit they were wrong and grow from it.
Respect for what he accomplished in life and respect for the man. Fifty-nine is too soon to go. I’m glad that at least for part of the way, I got to go along on his Fantastic Voyage.