Coolio’s Lethal Cocktail: Fentanyl, Heroin, Methamphetamines, PCP

Coolio cause of death revealed
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Coolio cause of death revealed
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Photo Credit: Timothy Krause / CC by 2.0

Coolio’s cause of death has been revealed as a combination of fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamines, and PCP — more than six months after the rapper’s sudden passing.

Artis Leon Ivey Jr., better known as rapper Coolio, died from an accidental overdose of fentanyl, heroin, and methamphetamines, the Los Angeles County medical examiner determined. The information comes more than six months after the “Gangsta’s Paradise” artist’s passing at age 59. 

The coroner reports that cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease), asthma, and “recent phencyclidine use” are also listed as significant conditions. Phencyclidine (PCP) is an illicit hallucinogenic used as a recreational drug. In the months after Coolio passed, no cause of death was revealed.

Jarez Posey, Coolio’s longtime manager, says that the rapper’s loved ones just received the news this week and are planning to honor his legacy. Coolio’s decades-long cigarette smoking also affected “his body’s inability to fight back,” notes Posey, calling the rapper’s asthma severe.

Artis Ivey Jr. died on September 28 while at a friend’s house in Los Angeles. He was reportedly found lying unconscious on the bathroom floor, and EMTs tried to revive him for 45 minutes before he was pronounced dead. At the time, law enforcement claimed that no drugs or drug paraphernalia were found at the scene, and sources suspected the musician had died from cardiac arrest. Sadly, Coolio suffered from serious drug issues, according to the cause of death breakdown.

Coolio was touring at the time of his passing, having performed with artists like Vanilla Ice as part of the “I Love the ’90s Tour.” The rapper was getting ready to travel to Germany for a show. 

Although Coolio dropped plenty of iconic hits during his career, such as “1,2,3,4,” and “Fantastic Voyage,” he’s best known for his track “Gangsta’s Paradise,” one of the top-selling singles of all time. The song served as the theme to the film Dangerous Minds, starring Michelle Pfeiffer — who also appeared in the song’s video — one of the stars who publicly mourned Coolio upon news of his passing.

“Heartbroken to hear of the passing of the gifted artist. A life cut entirely too short,” wrote Pfeiffer, posting a clip of them in the ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’ music video. “I was lucky enough to work with him on Dangerous Minds in 1995. He won a Grammy for his brilliant song on the soundtrack — which I think was the reason our film saw so much success.” 

“I remember him being nothing but gracious. Thirty years later, I still get chills when I hear the song,” she continued. “Sending love and light to his family. Rest in Power, Artis Leon Ivey Jr.”