Coolio‘s death at 59 on Wednesday (Sept. 28) left many unanswered questions, including whether the beloved “Gangsta’s Paradise” rapper left behind any unheard music. But as spotted by People magazine, earlier this summer the MC born Artis Leon Ivey Jr. had been working on a new song with the lead singer of Irish rock band Aslan, Christy Dignam, just a few months before his passing.
“We’ve just got into it,” Coolio told the Irish Examiner in July in an interview about his return to one of his favorite cities in the world, Dublin, Ireland. “We’re working on a track. We haven’t even started writing any lyrics. The track is being built as we speak. Somewhere within the next four to six weeks we should have something tangible we could work with.”
Coolio — who told the paper he loves Dublin so much that one his days off from touring in Europe instead of returning to his hometown of Los Angeles, he jets over to the capital of the Republic of Ireland — had reportedly gathered a close circle of friends in the city, including the vocalist of the veteran band named after the fictional lion in C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia books.
“It’s probably going to be a banger, I would imagine,” Coolio said of the unnamed song with Dignam. “I don’t know if it’s going to be dark and deep or if we’re going to go clubby and happy — that remains to be seen. I’m more inclined with being dark and deep and still being a banger.”
The rapper was also reportedly working on another track with Dublin rap duo Versatile, who he considered to be friends, after guesting on their 2019 song “Escape Wagon“; he also reportedly recorded a new song, “Keep On Coming,” with them and they were reportedly working on a video for the track. “People do what they do. They made a parody of Eazy-E and they [the critics] started claiming they were doing blackface or some bull—t,” Coolio said of the controversy that dogged the white duo who were accused of writing racist and misogynist lyrics. “Come on man…Some people got behind it [the criticisms]. They were mad at them. It could happen to anybody. “
Following his death, Coolio’s longtime manager, Jarez Posey, confirmed that the rapper was found on the floor of a bathroom at his friend’s house and pronounced deceased at the scene; no cause of death had been announced at press time.