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Coolio, born Artis Leon Ivey Jr., died on Sept. 28, 2022, at the age of 59. As of this writing, his cause of death has not been confirmed.

The rapper, who revealed an addiction to drugs, said he beat a cocaine addiction he had for many years. He once said he would probably die if he ever took cocaine again.

Coolio’s 2009 drug charges

Coolio raises his hands and performs during a concert.
Coolio | Frans Schellekens/Redferns

Coolio made headlines in 2009 after he was reportedly found in possession of cocaine while at Los Angeles International Airport. After being arrested and charged with drug possession, he pled guilty and arrangements were made for him to enter an 18-month drug rehabilitation program, reports The New York Times.

Coolio described cocaine as his ‘nemesis’

During an interview with Sway in the Morning, Coolio said his drug use started with marijuana. He said he moved on to ecstasy and took the drug “now and then.” Coolio admitted he had a tough time for many years with controlling his urge for cocaine.

“My nemesis was cocaine,” said Coolio. “I used to do coke in the ‘80s, and I stopped doing it for 12 years. And then I started back again.”

Coolio said he fell into cocaine addiction again after starting a relationship with a woman who used cocaine daily. However, he said he quit cocaine again after that. At the time of the interview, which took place in 2015, Coolio said he hadn’t had cocaine in six years.

Coolio thought he would die if he took cocaine again

Coolio said he would never touch cocaine again. He believed he would likely die if he tried cocaine again because his body wouldn’t be used to the drug.

“I can truly say now that it will never happen again,” said Coolio. “First of all, I’m way too old for that. If I start doing [cocaine] again, I probably will kill myself.”

Coolio said he realized years later that cocaine isn’t a “good high.” He said the feeling he got after taking the drug simply left him wanting more of it.

“It’s not even fun,” he said. “Coke is a drug that all it does to you is make you want more. Nothing else. You get high and then it starts to go down and you’re like, ‘I want to be high again. Let me take it tomorrow.’”

Coolio said cocaine caused him to have a constant craving. Each hit was never enough. “Pretty soon, you find yourself doing more and more and more,” he added.

Coolio said he was never “out in the open” about his drug addiction. According to him, only a few people knew he was taking cocaine.

Coolio’s rap career

Coolio was determined to become a successful rapper. During his interview with Sway in the Morning, he admits he felt he had to make it in the industry, or he would end up in jail.

“For me, it was a little bit easier I suppose because I was pretty determined,” says Coolio. “I was going to make it, or I was going to probably end up in prison. Those were my options.”

How to get help: In the U.S., contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline at 1-800-662-4357.

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