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Hailing from Compton, Calif., Coolio first took the music world by storm with the irresistibly friendly Funk of "Fantastic Voyage," from his 1994 debut It Takes A Thief. At a time when The Chronic-inspired Gangsta Rap was at its peak, he showed all doubters that you didn't have to rock murder raps to hit it big. The following year he scored another major hit with the dark, string-driven "Gangsta's Paradise," which became the most successful rap single of 1995. Two years later, he dropped his third album My Soul.
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