Coolio's run-ins with the law: Rapper's arrests, charges and crimes over the years
Popular rapper Coolio, who died on Wednesday, September 28, at age 59, was known for his squeaky clean bars. Nonetheless, he had had his share of run-ins with the law.
The talented artiste enjoyed global fame and recognition for his chart-topping track 'Gangster's Paradise' -- in which he spoke of life on the streets while assuming a tone of redemption. Coolio appeared to break the mold of rap's association with drugs and violence, somehow managing to keep these elements out of his music. He eventually moved to Compton and played an instrumental role in taking hip-hop to the mainstream in the '90s.
While his rap may have been cleaner than most, Coolio was no altar boy and had his share of run-ins with the law.
Coolio was reportedly charged with physically assaulting a saleswoman in Stuttgart while touring Europe. The Grammy winner and his entourage are said to have left a boutique with items worth $940 without paying for them, and the rapper punched the woman when she confronted them. Coolio later claimed that it was "understood that the clothes were in exchange for the autographs" after he had offered to pay with his credit card but the store would only take cash. In September that year, the rapper was pulled over by cops on the wrong side of the street and arrested for possession of marijuana and a firearm.
In 2001, Coolio was convicted of carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle.
The 'Fantastic Voyage' hitmaker was arrested at the Los Angeles International Airport in March 2009 and charged with possession of crack cocaine and battery. His arrest came after airport security found a crack pipe in his luggage and the battery charge stemmed from the rapper allegedly grabbing the security officer's arm when his luggage was being searched.
Coolio was put behind bars after police pulled him and his friend over for a routine traffic violation in Las Vegas. Upon checking his records, however, cops found he had two active bench warrants for numerous traffic violations and arrested him on the spot.
In 2013, the rapper faced domestic violence charges for allegedly beating his girlfriend, who was also the mother of their child. The charges were eventually dropped.
Coolio was detained by cops for carrying a loaded, stolen firearm. He was not allowed to carry guns as a convicted felon. However, he was spared jail time as part of a plea agreement. Shortly before the hearing, the rapper declared, "I do not condone the use of firearms legal or illegal" and added, "I don't do crime," as quoted by the Los Angeles Times.
Coolio, whose real name was Artis Leon Ivey Jr, started making music in the 1980s. Eventually rising to fame, he won a Grammy for 'Gangsta's Paradise' which was part of the soundtrack for the movie 'Dangerous Minds', starring Michelle Pfeiffer. Coolio recorded eight studio albums and won an American Music Award and three MTV Video Music Awards over a career spanning four decades.
The '90s rap great was visiting a friend late Wednesday afternoon when he was reportedly found by paramedics in the bathroom after they were called in for an emergency medical evaluation. He was declared dead at the scene. His cause of death has not been disclosed at the time of publication, but his longtime manager Jarez Posey said paramedics believe he may have had a cardiac arrest, TMZ reported.