Album of the Day
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Gangsta's Paradise (US Release)
Coolio ascended into the West Coast hip-hop pantheon in 1995 with the release of his second album, GANGSTA'S PARADISE. The chart-topping, Grammy-winning title track had turned heads earlier in the year when it appeared in the film Dangerous Minds, but gains even greater impact in the context of these 17 originals. Rapping over samples of R&B favorites by the likes of the Isley Brothers, Smokey Robinson and Billy Paul, Coolio serves up slices of life in the L.A. hood that are insightful and consistently memorable; "Geto Highlites," "1, 2, 3, 4 (Sumpin' New)" and "Too Hot" are just as strong as the set's iconic single. Surely Coolio's finest hour, the double-platinum GANGSTA'S PARADISE stands as one of the definitive rap albums of the 1990s.