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Author Topic: #30: Coolio  (Read 1735 times)

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Offline shemps#1

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#30: Coolio
« on: December 01, 2004, 04:12:00 PM »
(NOTE: Music That Sucks is the correct opinion of the author. If you do not agree I will take something of yours and claim it as my own. Let's see how you feel.)

The backbone of rap music is sampling. Sampling is a nice way of saying "stealing someone else's music. Some rap artists are coy about it, sampling from old, obscure one-hit wonders that most people have forgotten. Others (like Puff Daddy...P. Diddy...whatever the fuck he calls himself) are comfortable lifting rifts from popular rock bands (i.e. Led Zeppelin and the Police). It doesn't matter to whom the offense is done, sampling is a musical crime. One of the more popular culprits has earned himself an MTS induction.

Coolio was born Artis Ivey in the infamous Compton section of Los Angeles on August 1, 1963. Throughout his youth he had tried to became a rapper, but he had a cocaine problem and was constantly in trouble. Hey, good old nose candy doesn't come cheap! After going through rehabilitation and leaving the sweet white powder behind, Coolio began working with a group called WC and the MADD Circle. The MADD Circle, affliated somehow with fellow Comptonite and founding member of N.W.A. Ice Cube, released their first album, Ain't A Damned Thang Changed in 1991. After the album recieved a luke-warm reception at best, Coolio went out on his own and on to make some of shittiest music known to Rap and music in general.

In 1993 Coolio released his first single, "County Line", which recounts his experiences on the welfare line. As we all know, the best songs in history are about the highs and lows of this countries failed and oft abused welfare system. The following year Coolio brought out his first solo album, It Takes A Thief. The title is very apropos, as the major Top 5 single off of the album "Fantastic Voyage" directly rips off an obscure song from 1980 of the same name by a group called Lakeside. The public either has a short memory or does not care, as this song was almost impossible to get away from. The video for the song shows a beach party with Coolio (and his trademark braids going in every direction) and a car with a seemingly bottomless trunk that has a stream of jerk-offs coming out of it. What a profound statement.

Coolio's other hit (thus barely qualifying this douchebag for MTS) is the title track from his softmore album, Gangsta's Paradise. The man who may very well be the wussiest rapper out of the mean streets of Compton shows off his thieving skills by sampling from the classic Stevie Wonder song, "Pastime Paradise". Accompanied by a lardass singer named LV, the song took off when it was prominently featured in a stinker of a movie starring Michelle Pfeiffer named Dangerous Minds. The video for this song features the 30 something cokehead Coolio pretending to be a high school student, explaining his "problems" (i.e. rapping to) a constipated looking Pfeiffer. Listeners collectively said "Stevie Who?" as they made this song a #1 hit in the US, and the first rap song to top the UK charts. If anybody wonders why around this time (1995) I was already long tired of rap, this clogged artery of a song should be all I need to point to. This isn't "sampling" it's a blantant fucking theft. Sampling would be taking a bit of music from somebody else's song, not taking the entire song minus the lyrics and rapping over it, as was done here.

Apparently Coolio can't take his own medicine, and the term "irony" is lost on him. Parody king Weird Al Yankovic thought enough of "Gangsta's Paradise" to make "Amish Paradise", a complete take-off on the original right down to the music video with Florence Henderson in an Amish woman's costume in place of Pfeiffer. Unlike other artists who have received the Weird Al treatment before him, Coolio went ballistic and publicly denounced Yankovic's version. Nevermind that Coolio himself ripped off Stevie Wonder. Nevermind that at least Weird Al is up front about his taking others' music. And another thing Coolio, you shouldn't have even been allowed to touch any song from a legend like Stevie Wonder, you untalented, unoriginal, unlikable piece of shit!

OK, I'm back. Coolio has released a couple more albums since Paradise, but they thankfully tanked. He has made a handful of tv appearances, most notably on the game show for washed-up losers, Hollywood Squares. Meanwhile Weird Al has legions of dorky fans (including my brother), and Stevie Wonder is still considered a legend. Don't ask me where the members of Lakeside are. In the meantime, rappers who swipe others' creative outputs continue to make major bank and collect tha bling-bling...biznitch.

Coolio, music...that sucks!

"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish." - Unknown