Gangsta's Paradise (album)

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Gangsta's Paradise
Coolio - Gangsta's Paradise.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 21, 1995[1]
StudioEcho Sounds, Los Angeles, California and Studio 56, Hollywood, California
  • Coolio
  • Christopher Hamabe
  • Devon Davis
  • Doug Rasheed
  • Bryan "The Wino" Dobbs
Coolio chronology
It Takes a Thief
Gangsta's Paradise
My Soul
Singles from Gangsta's Paradise
  1. "Gangsta's Paradise"
    Released: August 8, 1995
  2. "Too Hot"
    Released: August 8, 1995
  3. "1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin' New)"
    Released: February 20, 1996

Gangsta's Paradise is the second studio album by rapper Coolio, released on November 21, 1995. It is Coolio's best-selling album, with over three million copies sold in the United States. The album produced three singles, which became hits: the title track (which was first used in the 1995 film Dangerous Minds,[2] released before Coolio's album), "1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin' New)", and "Too Hot".

Album information[edit]

Three songs were released as singles. "Gangsta's Paradise" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, "1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin' New)" reached number 5, and "Too Hot" 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.


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[3]
Christgau's Consumer GuideA–[4]
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[5]
Entertainment WeeklyB+[6]
Los Angeles Times2/4 stars[7]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[9]
The Source4/5 stars[10]

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."[12]

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."[13][14]

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."[15]

Musician said, "Coolio ties his music to a message that's as deep as the groove."[16]

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."[17]

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."[18]

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, Danger Jay 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, Roblow for Crimelab Production 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]

  • "Geto Highlites" contains a sample of "Groove With You", originally performed by The Isley Brothers. The intro of the song contains interpolations of the lines "What you gonna play now?" from "Make It Funky", originally performed by James Brown, and "Get on up" from "Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine", also originally performed by James Brown.
  • "Gangsta's Paradise" contains an interpolation of "Pastime Paradise", originally performed by Stevie Wonder, and the first line of the song is taken from Psalm 23.
  • "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.
  • "1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin' New)" contains samples of "Thighs High (Grip Your Hips More)", originally performed by Tom Browne, and "Wikka Wrap", originally 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", originally performed by Billy Paul.
  • "The Revolution" contains an interpolation of "Magic Night".
  • "Get Up, Get Down" contains an interpolation of "Chameleon", originally performed by Herbie Hancock.


Chart (1995–96) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[19] 12
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[20] 4
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[21] 28
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[22] 14
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[23] 9
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[24] 11
French Albums (SNEP)[25] 38
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[26] 6
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[27] 5
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[28] 24
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[29] 16
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[30] 2
UK R&B (UK R&B Singles and Albums Charts)[31] 3
UK Albums (OCC)[32] 18
US Billboard 200[33] 9
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[34] 14

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1996) Position
German Albums Chart[35] 45


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[36] Gold 35,000^
Belgium (BEA)[37] Gold 25,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[38] Platinum 100,000^
France (SNEP)[39] 2× Gold 200,000*
Germany (BVMI)[40] Gold 250,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[41] Gold 50,000^
Sweden (GLF)[42] Gold 50,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[43] 2× Platinum 100,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[44] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[45] 3× Platinum 3,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ All Music Guide to Hip-Hop: The Definitive Guide to Rap & Hip-Hop. 2003. p. 81. ISBN 0-87930-759-5.
  2. ^ Dangerous Minds at IMDb
  3. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Gangsta's Paradise - Coolio". AllMusic. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000-10-15). "Coolio: Gangsta's Paradise". Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. Macmillan Publishing. ISBN 9780312245603.
  5. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Omnibus Press. ISBN 9780857125958.
  6. ^ Browne, David (1995-11-10). "Gangsta's Paradise". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  7. ^ Coker, Cheo (1995-11-11). "** Coolio, "Gangsta's Paradise," Tommy Boy". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  8. ^ "Coolio: Gangsta's Paradise". NME. 1995-11-04. p. 49. ...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...
  9. ^ Harris, Keith (2004). "Coolio". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian David (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 9780743201698.
  10. ^ "Coolio: Gangsta's Paradise". The Source. February 1996. pp. 87–88.
  11. ^ Walters, Barry (January 1996). "Coolio: Gangsta's Paradise". Spin. SPIN Media LLC. p. 82. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
  12. ^ 1/96, p.82
  13. ^ 12/29/95-1/5/96, p.132
  14. ^ 11/10/95, p.62
  15. ^ 2/96, pp.87-88
  16. ^ 2/96, p.94
  17. ^ 12/95, p.30
  18. ^ 11/4/95, p.49
  19. ^ " – Coolio – Gangsta's Paradise". Hung Medien.
  20. ^ " – Coolio – Gangsta's Paradise" (in German). Hung Medien.
  21. ^ " – Coolio – Gangsta's Paradise" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  22. ^ " – Coolio – Gangsta's Paradise" (in French). Hung Medien.
  23. ^ " – Coolio – Gangsta's Paradise" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  24. ^ "Coolio: Gangsta's Paradise" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  25. ^ " – Coolio – Gangsta's Paradise". Hung Medien.
  26. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Phononet GmbH.
  27. ^ " – Coolio – Gangsta's Paradise". Hung Medien.
  28. ^ " – Coolio – Gangsta's Paradise". Hung Medien.
  29. ^ " – Coolio – Gangsta's Paradise". Hung Medien.
  30. ^ " – Coolio – Gangsta's Paradise". Hung Medien.
  31. ^
  32. ^ "Coolio | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart.
  33. ^ "Coolio Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  34. ^ "Coolio Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard.
  35. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  36. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  37. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – albums 1996". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  38. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Coolio – Gangsta Paradise". Music Canada. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  39. ^ "French album certifications – Coolio – Gangsta Paradise" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  40. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Coolio; 'Gangsta Paradise')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  41. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Coolio – Gangsta's Paradise" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 29 June 2019. Enter Gangsta's Paradise in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  42. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  43. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Coolio & LV; 'Gangsta's Paradise')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  44. ^ "British album certifications – Coolio – Gangsta's Paradise". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 29 June 2019. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Gangsta's Paradise in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  45. ^ "American album certifications – Coolio – Gangsta's Paradise". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 29 June 2019. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.