Rapper Coolio's cause of death revealed: what is fentanyl?

Over six months after his untimely passing at a friend's house in Los Angeles, the cause of rapper Coolio's death has been disclosed.

The 59-year-old hip-hop icon succumbed to an accidental overdose of fentanyl, heroin, and methamphetamine on September 28, as reported by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner.

The coroner's report also cited cardiomyopathy unspecified, asthma, and recent phencyclidine (PCP) use as contributing factors in the "Gangsta's Paradise" rapper's demise.

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It is typically prescribed to manage severe pain, such as that experienced by cancer patients.

Coolio died of a fentanyl overdose
Coolio died of a fentanyl overdose

However, due to its potency and the increasing prevalence of illicitly manufactured fentanyl, the drug has become a significant factor in the opioid crisis.

When mixed with other drugs, like heroin or methamphetamine, the risk of fatal overdose is significantly increased.

Cardiomyopathy is a heart muscle disease that can cause the organ to stiffen, enlarge, or thicken, making it difficult to pump blood effectively throughout the body. PCP, on the other hand, is a hallucinogenic street drug.

According to TMZ, Coolio's spokesperson shared that the rapper, born Artis Leon Ivey Jr., was found unresponsive on the floor of a friend's bathroom.

Following the announcement of his passing, numerous fellow musicians and celebrities paid tribute to Coolio on social media, including Weird Al Yankovic, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, Kenan Thompson, and Questlove.

Actress Michelle Pfeiffer, who starred in Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise" music video and the 1995 film Dangerous Minds, expressed her heartbreak over the news.

She praised the artist's talent and reminisced about working with him on the award-winning song and soundtrack.

Coolio, born in Monessen, Pennsylvania in 1963, later moved to Compton, California, where he attended Compton Community College before pursuing a career in rap.

His hit single Gangsta's Paradise, featuring singer L.V., was released in 1995, topping the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks and winning the Grammy Award for best rap solo performance in 1996.

In an interview with The Irish Examiner, Coolio reflected on the success of Gangsta's Paradise, revealing that the track reached a billion views on YouTube in just four years. He expressed his pride in the song's enduring impact, highlighting its continued popularity and influence in the music world.

He said: "You make music and you never think about what it's going to do and what it's not going to do. This is the amazing thing about Gangsta's Paradise and I'm proud of it. It only got put up on YouTube on Tommy Boy [the hip-hop platform] four years ago. It reached a billion views in four years."

He added: "I reached a billion the same week 50 Cent reached a billion with 'In Da Club'. It took 'In Da Club' 17 years to reach a billion. It took me four."

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