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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Katie Gallagher

Coolio was in the process of making new music with Aslan’s Christy Dignam before his death

Coolio was in the process of making new music with Aslan’s Christy Dignam before his death.

The late rapper, real name Artis Levon Ivey Jr, who passed away on Wednesday at age 59, previously shared that he was in Dublin this summer working on a collaboration with the Irish rock legends.

The Gangsta’s Paradise hitmaker said: "We've just got into it. We're working on a track. We haven't even started writing any lyrics.

Read more: Christy Dignam in 'good spirits' but still in hospital after health scare

“The track is being built as we speak. Somewhere within the next four to six weeks we should have something tangible we could work with,” he added, in an interview with The Irish Examiner earlier this year.

"It's probably going to be a banger, I would imagine. I don't know if it's going to be dark and deep or if we're going to go clubby and happy that remains to be seen.

“I'm more inclined with being dark and deep and still being a banger.”

Coolio is no stranger to Ireland, having recently enjoyed a night out in Conor McGregor's Crumlin pub, The Black Forge, and spent time also working with Dublin hip hop duo Versatile.

The US rapper died on Wednesday afternoon, his manager at Trinity Artists International, Sheila Finegan, confirmed.

"We are saddened by the loss of our dear friend and client, Coolio, who passed away this afternoon," she said in a statement.

"He touched the world with the gift of his talent and will be missed profoundly.

"Thank you to everyone worldwide who has listened to his music and to everyone who has been reaching out regarding his passing.

"Please have Coolio’s loved ones in your thoughts and prayers."

The rapper was found unresponsive on the bathroom floor of a friend’s house in Los Angeles, according to US media outlet TMZ.

RTE presenter Marty Whelan led the Irish tributes to the late performer, saying he remembers him 'with great fondness' as he shared a video clip from when he performed on RTE's former afternoon show, Open House.

The Winning Streak and Eurovision host said: "Ah Coolio, I remember him with great fondness.

"To have him dancing with the staff was quite the moment. Which they did willingly.

"The very idea of introducing Coolio on afternoon television shows you how innovative RTÉ has always been…"

Meanwhile, Irish comedy puppet duo 'Podge and Rodge' paid tribute, and shared a video clip of an interview with the late hip hop star on their RTE show.

The talent behind the scenes, Ciarán Morrison and Mick O'Hara of Double Z Creative, who are also the voices behind popular Irish TV puppets 'Zig and Zag', said: "In 1995 when Gangsta’s Paradise broke we interviewed Coolio and L.V (‘Luncheon Voucher’ as Zig called him) in a tent outside the Big Breakfast house as it was midterm #zigandzag and he was lots of fun.

"Then in 2009 we got to interview him again as Podge and Rodge on our chat show! Always a great guest and very funny."

Rap world legends, including Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube and MC Hammer, have also paid their respects to the late hip hop star online.

Ice Cube said: "This is sad news. I witnessed first hand this man’s grind to the top of the industry. Rest In Peace @Coolio."

MC Hammer described Coolio as "one of the nicest dudes I’ve known" as he shared a picture of the pair together with Tupac and Snoop.

Snoop Dogg shared a picture of the two on Instagram, posing on the set of the music video for their collaborative track Gangsta Walk, released in 2006 in his tribute, writing: "Gangstas paradise. R I P."

New York rapper Flava Flav also penned a tribute after learning of the loss of Coolio, writing: "Coolio was the West Coast Flavor Flav,,, He loved telling everyone that.

"We was supposed to perform together this Tuesday. RIP my friend.

"Rest in Gangsta’s Paradise my friend.”

Coolio recorded the hit Gangsta's Paradise for the 1995 film Dangerous Minds, starring Michelle Pfeiffer.

Pfeiffer said she was "heartbroken" to hear the news of his death, adding that she remembered him as "nothing but gracious" when they worked together.

"A life cut entirely too short.

"I remember him being nothing but gracious. 30 years later I still get chills when I hear the song.

"Sending love and light to his family. Rest in Power, Artis Leon Ivey Jr."

Irish Mirror have reached out to Aslan and Christy Dignam for comment.


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