Behind Stevie Wonder and Coolio’s collaboration on ‘Gangsta’s Paradise’

USA Prime Time

Before his greatest hit occurred in 1995, Coolio wasn’t even conscious of the track that gave it its hook.

“Gangsta’s Paradise” sampled the Stevie Wonder 1976 single, “Pastime Paradise.” The rapper died Wednesday on the age of 59, the identical day Wonder’s track and his Grammy-winning album, “Songs in the Key of Life” debuted 46 years in the past.

Coolio defined how their collaboration took place in an interview with Rolling Stone in 2015.

“I wasn’t actually conversant in ‘Pastime Paradise,’ as a lot of a Stevie Wonder fan as I used to be. My very first album I ever purchased was the one with ‘Superwoman’ on it,” he told the publication. “[1972’s ‘Music of My Mind.’] I bought that for my twelfth birthday, that one and ‘Fight the Power’ by the Isley Brothers. ‘Songs within the Key of Life,’ my mom had that album on the home, so it was type of bizarre that I didn’t know the track.”

“Gangsta’s Paradise” was part of the soundtrack to movie “Dangerous Minds,” which starred Michelle Pfeiffer. It topped the charts and gained the 1996 Grammy Award for greatest rap efficiency.

Doug Rasheed, the track’s producer, defined to Rolling Stone how the Wonder observe ended up being the idea for the track.

“One day, I pulled out the Stevie Wonder file, ‘Songs within the Key of Life,’ as a result of that’s one in every of my favourite albums,” Rasheed mentioned. “I pulled that pattern out of ‘Pastime Paradise,’ and Paul was like, “Wow, that’s tight!” So I made a decision to pattern it and make a beat with it. L.V. [who sang on the Coolio hit] was attempting to get a deal at the moment, so I used to be like, ‘Let’s do it on L.V.!’”

Coolio mentioned Wonder was initially lower than keen to let his track be used.

“When Stevie heard it, he was like, ‘No, no method. I’m not letting my track be utilized in some gangster track,’” Coolio mentioned. “So that was an issue.”

In stepped Coolio’s spouse, who knew Wonder’s brother. The famous person singer requested that the lyrics that contained profanity be modified.

“Unbeknownst to me, the opposite situation was that he needed 95 p.c of the publishing!,” Coolio mentioned. “Had I recognized that, I’m unsure I might have went forward with that — however I don’t know, perhaps I might have. [laughs”]

USA Prime Time has reached out to Stevie Wonder for remark.

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