West Coast rapper Coolio died on Wednesday in Los Angeles. He was 59.

In the 1990s, "Gangsta's Paradise" helped define hip-hop.

Mr. Posey, who has known the rapper for over 20 years,

Coolio died at 5 p.m. at a friend's residence. There was no explanation offered.

Billboard's top #1 music of 1995 was "Gangsta's Paradise."

In 1996, he won the Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance.

"Coolio's raps are still built around identifiable 1970s oldies,

Caryn James published a review for The Times in 1996 titled "Dangerous Minds."

"It Takes a Thief" (1994) received accolades for its witty lyrics and lively beats.