American rap legend Coolio reveals how a young Irish producer is working with him on a new album – and that’s why he’s a frequent visitor to Dublin.
Best known for his 1995 hit Gangsta’s Paradise, Coolio says multi-instrumentalist Evan Kennedy constantly challenged him in the studio.
“Evan is a smart kid, a talented kid,” Coolio told Shuffle during a break from recording a new song this week called Message Me.
“He pushed me in the studio and I respect that too. I don’t have many ‘man have’ around me. I am always looking for a child that will motivate me. I take criticism pretty well, that’s not a problem for me.
“Evan gives it his all because he really cares about music. He cares about the sound of it. He’s not just trying to catch a paycheck. “
Coolio previously recorded with Dublin hip hop duo Versatile, who also worked with Evan Kennedy.
“They’re my little brothers,” the rap icon says of the Versatile. “They were the first kids I heard from Ireland with their voices and I respect that.
“Then I had a show at Ireland Racecourse (Leopardstown) and they went backstage, and the rest is history, man. We hit it immediately. Next thing I knew we were in the studio. Then I started working with their agent who booked their tours. It was a match made in heaven.”
Coolio says he loves the city of Dublin. “I’m usually in the center of where the action takes place. I like the atmosphere of Dublin. It’s an experience at the heart. Not only do you meet a lot of Irish people, but you also meet other people from all walks of life and from all different nationalities. That makes it possible for me to write about all kinds of different topics.”
He likes to mingle with people. “Yeah I do. I’m not scared. I’m not looking for a new group of friends or anything, but I definitely enjoy socializing with people. I’m one of those cats that doesn’t like being alone. I feel like I do. boring with myself. I don’t value myself that way.”
And Coolio says he’s constantly being recognized. “Oh everyone else. Just walking down the street in Dublin, in a day, I would take at least 50 pictures.”
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He doesn’t surround himself with security. “Most of the time, I’ve just been with DJ Wino, my DJ and producer for the last 30 years and he’s like my DJ/bodyguard.”
Coolio admits that for a while in his career, he lost his cool. “I had a period where I wasn’t sure why I was still active in music, and I hadn’t released an album in quite a while,” he told me.
“I’m working on a new album right now and it’s not because I’m greedy for money or anything. First and foremost, I’m motivated to do music again and I’m doing it for myself.
“I swore to myself years ago that if it got to the point where I was only doing it for the money, I would quit. Being with people like Evan and being with DJ Wino helps me stay relevant and responsive and keeps my skills sharp. They make it easy for me. “
Although he got hooked on drugs, including crack cocaine, Coolio says he feels lucky to have gotten through it all.
“I was one of the lucky ones,” admitted the rapper.
“I’ve been through a few things. It’s not easy, but a lot of bad things happen to me because of my fault. I could have pretty much avoided that. I put myself in that position. You reap what you sow and you bear the consequences of your actions.”
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/music/rap-legend-coolio-praises-young-irish-producer-who-worked-with-him-on-new-album-41854093.html Rap legend Coolio praises young Irish producer for working with him on new album