Gangsta's Paradise

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This article is about the album. For the song, see Gangsta's Paradise (song).
Gangsta's Paradise
Studio album by Coolio
Released November 21, 1995
Recorded 1994-1995, at Echo Sounds, Los Angeles, California and Studio 56, Hollywood, California
Genre Hip hop, West Coast hip-hop, gangsta rap, g-funk
Length 64:25
Label Tommy Boy, Warner Bros.
Producer Coolio, Christopher Hamabe,
Devon Davis, Doug Rasheed,
Bryan "The Wino" Dobbs
Coolio chronology
It Takes a Thief
(1994)
Gangsta's Paradise
(1995)
My Soul
(1997)

Gangsta's Paradise is the second studio album by rapper Coolio, released on November 21, 1995. The album is Coolio's best-selling album, with over three million copies sold in the United States.

Album information[edit]

The album contained three hits: "Gangsta's Paradise", which reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100; "1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin' New)", which reached number 5, and "Too Hot", which peaked at number 24.

The album was nominated for a 1997 Grammy for Best Rap Album. The song "Gangsta's Paradise" won a 1996 Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance. "Sumpin' New" was nominated for a 1997 Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau A−[2]
Entertainment Weekly B+[3]
Spin 8/10[4]
NME 7/10[5]
The Source 4/5 stars[6]

Spin gave the album 8 out of 10, and said, "Today's rappers aren't interested in sharing any knowledge with outsiders. Coolio is the great exception... the most stylistically broad mainstream rap album you'll probably hear all year. Even upon first listen, it sounds like a collection of hits."[7]

Entertainment Weekly ranked the album #4 on EW's Top 10 Albums Of 1995, and said, "The level-headed street philosopher, preaching respect for black women, fatherly responsibility, and safe sex... continuing in the great tradition of Sly Stone and Stevie Wonder... Coolio and his crew make the ghetto seem not just a place of desolation, but of hope."[8][9]

The Source gave the album 4 Mics out of 5, and said, "The crazy braided one brings skilled and insightful lyrics that reach and relate to all levels of the Black experience... sets standards that corny lyrics and catchy loops can't compete with... Few artists can straddle the line between commercial and underground hip-hop."[10]

Musician said, "Coolio ties his music to a message that's as deep as the groove."[11]

Rap Pages gave the album 7 out of 10, and said, "Maybe because he rapped for a decade with no props, got yanked on record deals... this cool-ass homie from Compton has stayed grounded... Coolio rejoices in the only life he knows."[12]

NME gave the album 7 out of 10, and said, "Instead of playing the role of the Uzi-toting big-shot, he adopts a more reflective view of urban life in Los Angeles... In doing so, Coolio takes a deliberate step forward from last year's light-hearted debut."[13]

Track listing[edit]

# Title Producer(s) Performer (s) Length
1 "That's How It Is" Coolio Coolio, Talkbox 1:00
2 "Geto Highlites" Christopher Hamabe, Devon Davis Coolio, 40 Thevz (backing vocals) 4:59
3 "Gangsta's Paradise" Doug Rasheed Coolio, L.V., Trinna Simmons (backing) 4:00
4 "Too Hot" Bryan Dobbs Coolio, J.T. Taylor 3:40
5 "Cruisin'" Christopher Hamabe, Devon Davis Coolio, Malika, Shaunna D. (backing) 4:34
6 "Exercise Yo Game" Jay Williams, Maurice Thompson 40 Thevz, Coolio, E-40, Kam 4:49
7 "1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin' New)" James Carter, Poison Ivey Coolio 3:33
8 "Smilin'" Dominic Aldridge, James Carter, Reece Carter (co-producer) Coolio, Baby G (backing) 4:07
9 "Fucc Coolio" Coolio Coolio 0:50
10 "Kinda High Kinda Drunk" Dominic Aldridge, James Carter, Danny Taylor (co-producer) Coolio 3:44
11 "For My Sistas" Oji Pierce Coolio, Lashann Dendy 4:26
12 "Is This Me?" Devon Davis Coolio, LV, Rated R 4:23
13 "A Thing Goin' On" Oji Pierce Coolio, Jeremy Monroe 4:45
14 "Bright As the Sun" Oji Pierce Coolio, Will Wheaton 4:47
15 "Recoup This" Spoon Coolio, Capucine Jackson (backing), P.S. (backing) 1:21
16 "The Revolution" Bryan Dobbs Coolio 3:48
17 "Get Up, Get Down" Bryan Dobbs Coolio, Malika, Shorty, Leek Ratt, P.S., WC & Ras Kass 5:32

Samples and interpolations[edit]

  • "Gangsta's Paradise"is a cover of "Pastime Paradise", performed by Stevie Wonder.
  • "Too Hot" contains an interpolation of "Too Hot", originally performed by Kool & The Gang.
  • "Cruisin'" contains an interpolation of "Cruisin'", originally performed by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles.
  • "Sumpin' New" contains samples of "Thighs High (Grip Your Hips More)", performed by Tom Browne, and "Wikka Wrap", performed by The Evasions.
  • "Smilin'" contains an interpolation of "You Caught Me Smiling", originally performed by Sly & The Family Stone.
  • "Kinda High, Kinda Drunk" contains interpolations of "Saturday Night" and "The Boyz in Da Hood"
  • "For My Sistas" contains an interpolation of "Make Me Say It Again Girl", originally performed by The Isley Brothers.
  • "A Thing Goin' On" contains an interpolation of "Me and Mrs. Jones".
  • "The Revolution" contains an interpolation of "Magic Night".
  • "Get Up, Get Down" contains an interpolation of "Chameleon", originally performed by Herbie Hancock.
  • The song "Gangsta's Paradise" is used in the film Dangerous Minds (1995).[14]
  • The first line of "Gangsta's Paradise" is taken from Psalm 23.

Charts and certifications[edit]

Charts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Robert Christgau review
  3. ^ http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,299442,00.html
  4. ^ Spin (12/95, p.82) - 8 (out of 10) - "...Today's rappers aren't interested in sharing any knowledge with outsiders. Coolio is the great exception....the most stylistically broad mainstream rap album you'll probably hear all year. Even upon first listen, it sounds like a collection of hits..."
  5. ^ NME (Magazine) (11/4/95, p.49) - 7 (out of 10) - "...Instead of playing the role of the Uzi-toting big-shot, he adopts a more reflective view of urban life in Los Angeles....In doing so, Coolio takes a deliberate step forward from last year's light-hearted debut..."
  6. ^ The Source (2/96, pp.87-88) - 4 Mics (out of 5) - "...The crazy braided one brings skilled and insightful lyrics that reach and relate to all levels of the Black experience....sets standards that corny lyrics and catchy loops can't compete with....Few artists can straddle the line between commercial and underground hip-hop..."
  7. ^ 12/95, p.82
  8. ^ 12/29/95-1/5/96, p.132
  9. ^ 11/10/95, p.62
  10. ^ 2/96, pp.87-88
  11. ^ 2/96, p.94
  12. ^ 12/95, p.30
  13. ^ 11/4/95, p.49
  14. ^ Dangerous Minds at IMDb
  15. ^ "Coolio – Gangsta's Paradise". Australiancharts.com. Hung Medien.
  16. ^ "Coolio - Gangsta's Paradise" (in German). Austriancharts.at. Hung Medien.
  17. ^ "Coolio – Gangsta's Paradise" (in Dutch). Ultratop.be. Hung Medien.
  18. ^ "Coolio – Gangsta's Paradise" (in French). Ultratop.be. Hung Medien.
  19. ^ "Coolio – Gangsta's Paradise" (in Dutch). Dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien.
  20. ^ "Coolio: Gangsta's Paradise" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  21. ^ "Coolio – Gangsta's Paradise". Lescharts.com. Hung Medien.
  22. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH.
  23. ^ "Coolio – Gangsta's Paradise". Charts.org.nz. Hung Medien.
  24. ^ "Coolio – Gangsta's Paradise". Norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien.
  25. ^ a b "Coolio – Gangsta's Paradise". Swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien.
  26. ^ UK Singles Chart Chartstats.com (Retrieved January 12, 2009)
  27. ^ "Coolio Album & Song Chart History" Billboard 200 for Coolio. Prometheus Global Media.
  28. ^ Billboard allmusic.com (Retrieved January 12, 2009)
  29. ^ Canada certifications cria.ca (Retrieved January 12, 2009)
  30. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank ('Gangsta%27s+Paradise')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved January 12, 2009. 
  31. ^ Dutch certifications nvpi.nl (Retrieved January 12, 2009)
  32. ^ Swedish certifications "Ifpi.se".  (Retrieved January 12, 2009)
  33. ^ United Kingdom certifications Bpi.co.uk (Retrieved January 12, 2009)
  34. ^ United States certifications riaa.com (Retrieved January 12, 2009)