Friday, April 8th 2011 – The staging area was studio 8. Coolio, manager Jarez Posey, Derek Linzy, and DIY’s Adam Levy are all present – they’re in last minute preparation for the event. Coolio trades out his t-shirt to show support for IPR, spots the Pro Tools Icon rig and immediately begins to espouse his philosophy of recording.
He loves the old school – Coolio is not a fan of cutting and pasting. He offers openly that he blames the flexibility of programs like Pro Tools for the lack of musical quality in the market today. He cracks a few jokes, grabs a water, and Adam leads the way to Robinson Hall.
Not surprisingly, Robinson Hall is packed. Students are eager to hear what Coolio has to say. They react with applause and laughter when he makes an off color statement or two, but most found themselves enjoying the lighthearted banter between he and Levy.
There were serious moments. Coolio is obviously very passionate about what music has done for him: how spending his time writing, recording and performing saved him from the streets of Compton, CA. How “The Song”, as Coolio refers to “Gangsta’s Paradise”, has resonated with so many fans all over the world, and how he knew from the moment of its inception that “Gangsta’s Paradise” was going to be a hit.
Coolio was very candid about his aversion to much of today’s hip hop music. He believes many modern hip hop tracks lack inspiration, and many hip hop recording artists lack real talent. With the advent of modern technology, artists aren’t required to be as good at their craft any longer. Coolio said he feels sorry for music lovers today; there’s just not that much good new music crossing the airwaves.
Before signing off for the day, Coolio encouraged students to do their art for the right reasons. He taught that fame is fleeting, and money is nice, but it’s passion and love of the craft that should drive a person to success. He challenged IPR students to use music for something more than pure personal gain.