4/8/11 – Kicking off DIY360, Adam Levy welcomed Grammy award-winning rapper Coolio. Coolio has been active in hip-hop for years, but gained the most notoriety when his 1995 single, Gangsta’s Paradise, was featured in the movie Dangerous Minds.
Arriving through a side entrance bearing sunglasses and an IPR t-shirt, Coolio brought high energy from start to finish. Students were treated to a freestyle toward the beginning of the hour, and he went on to openly discuss his upbringing in Compton, CA. Much of the hour was lighthearted, but turned serious when he explained how music saved his life.
Coolio stressed that music is supposed to make you feel something; it can carry you through the hardest of times. He seemed very moved that Gangsta’s Paradise touched so many people around the world, and he explained to students the writing process that gave birth to that song.
Like many artists, he went on to express his distaste for much of today’s music industry, speaking for quite some time on the lack of talent and inspiration that is glorified today. Taking great pride in his lyrics and musical integrity, he left all of the students at IPR with this piece of advice: make music because you love it, and not for any other reason.