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Coolio Dead at 59


Grammy Award-winning rapper Coolio died Wednesday at a friend's house in Los Angeles. He was 59.

TMZ first broke the news and his longtime manager, Jarez Posey, then confirmed it to multiple outlets.

Posey said the star went to the bathroom and when he did not return for a “long time,” friends broke down the door and found him on the floor.

According to Posey paramedics were called after he was found unresponsive but their attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead.

Born Artis Leon Ivey Jr., Coolio was one of the most recognizable names in rap in the late 1990s.

The Pennsylvania native found success in the music industry after moving to Compton, California, where he went to community college and worked as a volunteer firefighter before devoting himself to music full-time.

In 1994 his debut album "It Takes a Thief" made him a star. The platinum album's lead single "Fantastic Voyage" reached No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, while it peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard 200.

Coolio kept the momentum going with his next release 1995's “Gangsta’s Paradise." The hit from the soundtrack of the Michelle Pfeiffer film "Dangerous Minds" earned him a Grammy for best solo rap performance.

He went on to make the song the title track of his second studio album released the same year. "Gangsta's Paradise" went on to sell over two million copies in the United States and generated two more major hits for the artist in "1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin' New)" (No. 5 Billboard Hot 100) and "Too Hot" (No. 24).

After the news broke, friends, fans and former colleagues took to the internet to eulogize the fallen star. Among them was Weird Al, who the rapper feuded with after the parody song master released the song "Amish Paradise." The two squashed the beef later.

"RIP Coolio," he wrote in a simple and touching tribute.

Keke Palmer, SZA Featured Prominently on Prestigious TIME100 Next List

Courtesy Time

Time magazine revealed its annual list of the most influential people in the world today, and It Girl Keke Palmer, along with R&B powerhouse SZA, was front-and-center

The dynamic duo was picked — along with actor Sydney Sweeney and conservationist Farwiza Farhan — to be one of the four worldwide cover persons for the TIME100 Next list.

It showcases 100 emerging leaders from around the world, shaping the future and defining the next generation of leadership, by having their peers pen a few words on why they deserve the recognition.

Calling her one of the most talented human beings I've ever met, rapper-turned-actor Queen Latifah did the honors for Palmer, writing:

Watching Keke evolve as a young woman has been a joy. She is the epitome of grace, poise, and honesty. To watch her grow as an artist, taking on a range of challenging roles—­including her stunning performances in Akeelah and the Bee, Pimp, and the critically acclaimed 2022 blockbuster Nope—has been inspiring to me as a fellow actor. Not to mention, the girl can sing! But then again, this young champion has been inspiring adults for many, many years. Keke is the future, and I can’t wait to see the things that she will do as she continues on her journey.

Fellow Grammy winner Lizzo feted SZA:

When she dropped CTRL, her debut studio album, it was a cultural f-cking reset. She changed the world! The authenticity in her craft—the way she’s able to tell her story and the way she uses melody—is extraordinary. No one can replicate that. When she’s onstage, she’s timeless. She’s someone who’s the real deal, and I think that she’s well on her way to being regarded as one of the greatest songwriters and singers of all time. All she needs is that pen and that voice and her story, and she’s going to be with us for a long time.

Other notable names on the list included Jonathan Majors ("The Harder They Fall"), Lashana Lynch ("The Woman King"), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II ("Aquaman"), Ncuti Gatwa ("Doctor Who"), TikTok influencer Khaby Lame and NBA star Ja Morant.

"Real change requires urgency and the determination to respond with speed to global challenges such as the climate crisis," Time editor-in-chief and CEO Edward Felsenthal wrote of the rising stars and changemakers on the 2022 list. "The leaders featured on this year's TIME100 Next list have demonstrated that spirit. They are shaping our world—and demanding we join them."

To see the complete list click here.

2022 BET Hip Hop Awards to Celebrate 30th Anniversary of 'Cornerstone' Label LOUD Records and Founder Steve Rifkind

Iconic hip-hop label LOUD Records and its founder Steve Rifkind will be honored at the 2022 BET Hip Hop Awards.

The show — hosted by Grammy-nominated rapper Fat Joe — will celebrate the label’s 30 years of being an industry trailblazer and Rifkind’s concurrent run as one of the genre's savviest businessmen.

Founded with just a monthly commitment of $3,000 from BMG in 1991 by Rifkind and Rich Isaacson, the label utilized a street marketing approach pioneered by Rifkind to sell over 100 million records without relying on radio airplay.

It also expanded the scope of popular hip-hop by bringing a roster of gritty and lyrical artists to prominence, most notably multi-platinum selling super-group Wu-Tang Clan.

Other artists that owe their success to the label include Three 6 Mafia, Mobb Deep, Tha Alkaholics, Big Pun, and Xzibit to name a few.

Steve Rifkind
“It has been such a rewarding 30 years for LOUD alongside my tireless partners Rich Isaacson and Jonathan Rifkind,” Rifkind said in a statement announcing the event. “The impact we’ve been able to make with some of today’s pioneering and trailblazing acts is unmatched. I’m privileged to be able to work with everyone from Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep, Big Pun, Xzibit, and more, to this year’s BET Hip Hop Awards host, my brother, Fat Joe. I’m honored that BET is recognizing the impact that LOUD has made in revolutionizing the industry and propelling the culture.”

The show’s producer Jesse Collins, CEO of Jesse Collins Entertainment, added, “Loud Records has been a cornerstone of hip hop since its inception 30 years ago with an array of artists that have each become essential elements to the periodic table of hip hop. We salute Steve, John, and Rich for their contribution to the culture.”

The awards premiere on the network next Tuesday (Oct. 4, 9 PM ET/PT) and will feature performances from David Banner featuring Lil’ Flip, Dead Prez, Mobb Deep with Lil’ Kim, M.O.P., Remy Ma, Three 6 Mafia, Wu-Tang Clan and Fat Joe.