Gangsta's Paradise (4:00)

Cover of Gangsta's Paradise (feat. L.V.)

From Gangsta's Paradise (feat. L.V.) and 118 other releases

Gangsta’s Paradise is a rap song by Coolio featuring L.V. from the movie Dangerous Minds (1995) (starring Michelle Pfeiffer). The song was later released on the albums Gangsta’s Paradise and Dangerous Minds soundtrack in 1995. Coolio was awarded a Grammy for the song/album. The song was voted as the best single of the year in The Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics poll.

It sampled the chorus and music of the song “Pastime Paradise” by Stevie Wonder (1976).

The song was also listed at #69 on Billboard’s Greatest Songs of All-Time.
In 2008, it was ranked number 38 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop.

Following Coolio’s appearance in the UK TV show Celebrity Big Brother 2009 Gangsta’s Paradise re-entered the UK singles chart peaking at #31.

L.V. released a solo version of the single in 1996 on his debut album, I Am L.V… This version did not feature Coolio, and featured additional lyrics written by L.V. himself. The single did not repeat the popularity of the original with Coolio.

The music is a reworking of Stevie Wonder’s “Pastime Paradise”, a song from his album Songs in the Key of Life. “Gangsta’s Paradise” uses the same tune, and a different orchestration of the same backing music. Coolio changed the lyrics to be more relevant to life on the streets.

The song begins with a line from Psalm 23:4 from the Bible: As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, but then diverges with: I take a look at my life / And realize there’s nothin’ left. Adding to some of the religious overtones are choral vocals in the background.


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As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
I take a look at my life and realize there's none left
'Cause I've been brassing and laughing so long that
Even my mamma thinks that my mind is gone

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics


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