Coolio’s son reveals rapper’s father’s final moments before ‘shock’ death from heart attack in emotional first interview

COOLIO’s son has revealed how his rapper father died “without fear” and with a “smile” on his face, despite struggling with “complications” before his death.

In an exclusive interview with The US Sun, his eldest son Artis Ivey III, named after Coolio’s real name, has become the first family member to speak out about the rapper’s death at the age of 59.

Coolio's son Artis III said his father died with a


Coolio’s son Artis III said his father died with a “smile” on his face and “without fear”.Photo credit: Getty
Coolio with Artis III as a child


Coolio with Artis III as a childCredit: Instagram/Artis Ivey III
Coolio and Artis III perform together on stage in Las Vegas in 2019


Coolio and Artis III perform together on stage in Las Vegas in 2019Credit: Alamy

From his Los Angeles home, an emotional Artis III revealed that Coolio did not fear death, although his father’s death came as a “complete shock”.

Just before 5pm last Wednesday, the legendary ’90s rap star was pronounced dead after being found in the bathroom of his friend’s downtown LA apartment. The probable cause of death was cardiac arrest.

It was also Artis III’s 33rd birthday and he said they had spoken during the week and would be speaking again that night.

He says Coolio has had bad asthma problems and hasn’t been entirely drug free – although he firmly believes that played no part in his death.

Scammers try to capitalize on Coolio's death when another tragedy is revealed
Coolio died on his son's birthday after he flew to LA to attend a birthday party

“My father had some health complications. He took care of these things. It’s been busy with asthma, really bad asthma,” said Artis III.

“He was mostly drug free but my dad lived for the day, everyone in life has their vices but those vices never really affected him as a father or a man. He died a natural death. He just had a heart attack.

“He wasn’t afraid of death at all. It was another step into paradise.”

Artis Ivey III

“[Although] It was a total shock. At the same time, our father always prepared us for things that could happen. My father was a very spiritual person.

“He wasn’t afraid of death at all. It was another step into paradise. He had his own beliefs. He believed in a higher power and he believed in himself.


“My dad believed in living life, following your spirit, following your heart, when you live like that, sometimes you live fast.

“You know, he had a smile on his face when it came time for checkout. And that’s all that matters.

“I know he has no regrets. He’s one of those people who really had to fulfill his purpose in life.”

In fact, Coolio not only accepted death, but wrote extensively in his lyrics about how his time on this planet may be limited.

In Gangsta’s Paradise he rapped: “Fool, death is just a heartbeat away, I live life, do or die, what can I say? I’m 23 now, but will I live to see 24? I don’t know how things are going… They’ve lived most of their lives in gangsta paradise.”


Artis III says his father was involved with several women before his death, adding, “He loved life, he loved women, he loved his children.”

One of his most recent partners, Mimi Ivey, admitted in an interview with the Daily Mail that Coolio had dated other women, insisting they had an amicable arrangement and there was “nothing the man ever did what he hid from me”.

Artis III added: “Yours [Mimi] and my dad had her time, and if she feels like she wants to speak and people want to listen, then so be it. It’s a beautiful thing.

“To be honest, my dad did what he did. A few other women might say the same as Mimi.

“I don’t want to stop anyone from feeling loved, it’s the last thing they want. He was big on love.”


Now Coolio’s family wants to remember him the way he always planned – to throw a big party and everyone is invited, especially the fans.

They’re considering hosting either a memorial, a live event, or even something at the legendary Kodak Theater in Hollywood.

He says Coolio’s friends have already started partying around the world, just like he wanted.

Artis III says: “Yes, he didn’t want a traditional funeral service, he was a spiritual person. He believed in his spirit as a whole, he believed in the soul, once his soul left this body it was just the body.

“He didn’t want too much to be about the body, he wanted everyone to celebrate the spirit.

“I will celebrate his life for the rest of my life as he continues his journey to paradise. You never really die when your spirit is still strong, you go to a higher place.

“He told me he was so good where he was that he didn’t have to worry.

“We will have a personal memorial for family and close friends and then we will also have a memorial for all of his other friends and fans.

“He wanted a party and everyone should celebrate their lives, play music, just fill the room and smile, have a good time.”

‘Great Dad’

As the eldest, Artis III may have spent most of his time near his father, even starring in a realty show called Coolio’s Rule in 2008 and traveling the world with him as a child, teenager and then as a musician himself.

He says Coolio had time for all his children and busted a myth that he was a father of ten – he “only” had seven biological children and the rest were stepchildren that Coolio adopted as his own.

Artis III explains: “He was a great father, he took care of his children. He would put his career on hold for us, we cared the most.”

“As for me and him, we had a great relationship. My father showed me the world, he taught me things, we spent a lot of time getting to know each other.

“We were close friends, he raised me after I moved here from seventh grade and pretty much took me around the world and showed me everything I know now.

“Everybody came and stayed with him for a couple of years and we did a TV show. We all had a chance to really bond with each other.

“My dad always made sure he had time with his kids. After everyone got a little older, he just went from place to place. Whenever he was in town, he would spend a few days with them all.

My father was a beautiful person, inside and out. He loved everyone.”

Artis Ivey III

“He has seven children – Brandi, Jackie, Artisha, Darius, Milan, Artis III and Christopher. But he loved all his children.

“He had other children who weren’t in his lineage, not in his blood, but he loved them all. It’s not true that he had ten, the rest would be stepchildren.

“But he loved all his children, I would never say they weren’t his children. I would never let that be something I said.

“My father was a beautiful person inside and out. He loved everyone.”


Although Coolio didn’t die a multi-millionaire, he died loved by his family, his friends, and his adoring legion of fans.

Now the family wants to pay tribute to those same fans.

“First of all, we want everyone to know how grateful and grateful we are for the love they have shown our father,” Artis III said.

“To see the impact he’s had on the world means so much to our entire family right now.

“My dad was a cool brother.”

Artis Ivey III

“He really did everything he could for his kids and family to let us know he cared about us, but he cared about his fans just as much…

“He never broke up with them, never disrespected them, never said no to a picture, always had time for them…

“He kept the same personality, didn’t stress out and didn’t care about money at all.

“My dad was cool, my dad was a cool brother.”

Coolio is said to have died of a heart attack


Coolio is said to have died of a heart attackPhoto credit: Getty
Artis, pictured center with brothers Darius and Milan, says this was one of his father's favorite pictures


Artis, pictured center with brothers Darius and Milan, says this was one of his father’s favorite picturesCredit: Alamy
Artis appeared on his father's reality show Coolio's Rules as a teenager


Artis appeared on his father’s reality show Coolio’s Rules as a teenagerPhoto credit: Getty Coolio’s son reveals rapper’s father’s final moments before ‘shock’ death from heart attack in emotional first interview


DevanCole is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. DevanCole joined Dailynationtoday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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