Artis Leon Ivey Jr. (born August 1, 1963), better known by the stage name Coolio, is an American Grammy Award-winning musician, rapper, actor, and record producer. He is best known for the song 'Gangsta's Paradise', and the theme song for Kenan & Kel, a Nickelodeon show from 1996 to 2000. He recorded two singles in 1987, titled 'Watcha Gonna Do' and 'You're Gonna Miss Me'. Neither single was successful, but Coolio had made connections in the Los Angeles rap scene, and ended up joining the group WC and the Maad Circle in 1991. WC was the group's lead rapper, but Coolio was another rapper in the group. He had a few verses on the group's debut album, Ain't a Damn Thang Changed, including on the single 'Dress Code'. The album was regionally successful, but did not make much impact on a national scale. Three years later in 1994, Coolio signed to Tommy Boy Records and released his debut solo album, It Takes a Thief.
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