Coolio’s son on dead rapper’s drug use, lovers and final moments

Coolio’s son has revealed how his rapper dad died with “no fear” and a “smile” on his face despite battling health “complications” before his death.

In an exclusive interview with The US Sun, his eldest son Artis Ivey III, named after Coolio’s real name, is the first family member to speak out about the rapper’s passing at the age of 59.

Speaking from his home in Los Angeles, an emotional Artis III revealed that while his dad’s death was a “complete shock”, Coolio didn’t fear death.

At just before 5pm last Wednesday, the iconic ’90s rap star was pronounced dead after being found in the bathroom of his friend’s downtown LA apartment, with the probable cause of death being cardiac arrest.

It was also Artis III’s 33rd birthday, and he said they had spoken during the week and were due to talk again that night.

He said Coolio had bad asthma issues and wasn’t completely free of drugs – although he was adamant that this played no part in his death.

“My dad was having a couple of health complications. He was taking care of those things. A lot was going on with asthma, real bad asthma,” Artis III said.

“He was for the most part drug-free, but my dad lived for the day. Everyone in life has their vices, but those vices never really affected him as a father or a man. He died of natural causes. He just had a heart attack,” he said.

“It was a complete shock. At the same time, you know, our father always prepared us for things that might happen. My father was a very spiritual person.

“He didn’t fear death at all. It was another step to paradise. He had his own set of beliefs. He believed in a higher power and he believed in himself.

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Living fast

“My dad believed in living life, leading his spirit, following his heart, when you live like that, sometimes you live life fast.

“You know, he had a smile on his face when it was checkout time. And that’s all that matters.

“I know he had no regrets. He’s one of those people that got to really fulfil his life’s destiny.”

Coolio wrote in his lyrics about how his time on this planet may be limited.

In Gangsta’s Paradise, he rapped: “Fool, death ain’t nothin’ but a heartbeat away, I’m livin’ life do or die, what can I say? I’m 23 now, but will I live to see 24? The way things is goin’ I don’t know … Been spendin’ most their lives livin’ in the gangsta’s paradise.”

‘Big on love’

Artis III said his father had relationships with several women before he died, adding: “He loved life, he loved women, he loved his kids.”

One of his most recent partners, Mimi Ivey, admitted in an interview with the Daily Mail that Coolio had been seeing other women, insisting they had an amicable arrangement and there was “nothing that man ever did that he hid from me”.

Artis III added: “Her [Mimi] and my dad had their time, and if she feels she wants to speak and people want to listen, so be it. It’s a beautiful thing.

“To be frank, my dad did what he did. A couple other women maybe say the same as Mimi.

“I don’t want to disparage anyone from feeling loved, it’s the last thing he would want. He was big on love.”

Celebration of life

Now Coolio’s family want to remember him the way he always planned – to throw one big party and everyone’s invited, especially the fans.

They’re looking at either having a memorial, live event, or even doing something at Hollywood’s legendary Kodak Theatre.

He said friends of Coolio’s have already started to party all around the world, just like he wanted.

“Yes, he didn’t want a traditional funeral service, he was a spiritual person. He believed in his spirit as a whole, he believed in the soul, once his soul left that body, it’s just the body,” Artis III said.

“He didn’t want too much going on over the body, he wanted everyone to celebrate the spirit.

“I’m gonna’ celebrate his life for the rest of my life, while he continues his voyage into paradise. You never truly die if your spirit is still strong, you go to a higher place.

“He told me he was so good where he was that he didn’t have anything to worry about.

“We’re going to have a personal memorial for family and close friends and then we’re also going to have memorial for all of his other friends and fans.

“He wanted a party and for everybody to celebrate his life, play music, just fill up the room and smile, have a good time.”

‘Great dad’

As Coolio’s eldest child, Artis III has possibly spent the most time around his father, even starring in a realty show with him called Coolio’s Rule in 2008, and travelling the world with him as a child, teenager and then as a musician himself.

He said Coolio had time for all his kids and cleared one myth up that he was a father of 10 – he clarified Coolio had seven biological children and the rest were stepkids, which Coolio took on as his own.

“He was a great father, he cared about his kids. He would put his career on hold for us, we were cared about the most.

“As for me and him, we had a great relationship. My father showed me the world, he taught me things, we spent a lot of time getting to know each other.

“We were close friends. He raised me after I moved in from seventh grade and pretty much took me around the world, showing me everything I know today.

“Everybody came and stayed with him for a couple years and we did a TV show. We all got a chance to really build a relationship with each other.

“My dad always made sure to have his one-on-one time with his kids. After everybody got a little older, he would just go from place to place. When he was in town, he would go spend a couple of days with everybody.

“He has seven kids – Brandi, Jackie, Artisha, Darius, Milan, Artis III and Christopher. But he loved all of his kids.

“He had other kids that weren’t in his lineage, not his blood, but loved them all. It’s not true that he had 10 – the rest would be stepkids.

“But he loved all his kids. I would never say they weren’t his kids. I would never let that be something that I said.

“My dad was a beautiful person inside and out. He loved everybody.”

Adoring fans

While Coolio didn’t die a multi-millionaire, he died loved by his family, friends and adoring legion of fans.

Now the family want to pay tribute to those same fans.

“First thing we want to do, is let everybody know how thankful and grateful we are for the love that they showed our father,” Artis III said.

“To see the impact he’s had on the world means so much to our whole family right now.

“For his kids and his family, he really went out of his way to let us know that he cared about us, but he cared about his fans just as much.

“He never disconnected from them, never disrespected them, would never say no to a picture, always had time for them,” he said.

“He kept the same personality, didn’t stress or care about money at all.

“My dad was cool, my dad was a cool-a**e bro.”

This article originally appeared in The US Sun and was reproduced with permission

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