Coolio's oldest son, Artis Ivey III, broke his silence over the "Gangsta's Paradise" rapper's death late last month. Ivey spoke with The U.S. Sun about his father's death, saying the loss was a "complete shock," despite Coolio dealing with "health complications" before he died. Coolio, born Artis Leon Ivey Jr., died on Sept. 28, which was also Ivey's 33rd birthday.
Coolio was pronounced dead after being discovered in a friend's Los Angeles apartment. The probable cause of death was cardiac arrest. His remains were cremated in a private ceremony without a funeral service. His representative told TMZ on Oct. 7 that Coolio's seven children will each get a pendant that holds Coolio's ashes to wear as a necklace.
"My dad was having a couple of health complications," Ivey told The Sun of his father's last weeks. "He was taking care of those things. A lot was going on with asthma, real bad asthma." Although Coolio was "for the most part drug-free," Ivey said drug use was not linked to Coolio's death. "He died of natural causes. He just had a heart attack," Ivey explained.
Coolio also did not fear death. "My father was a very spiritual person," Ivey said. "He didn't fear death at all. It was another step to paradise. He had his own set of beliefs. He believed in a higher power and he believed in himself." Ivey believes his father had "no regrets" and lived his life to the fullest. "He loved life, he loved women, he loved his kids," Ivey told The Sun.
Ivey declined to speak negatively about Mimi Ivey, one of Coolio's last partners. In a recent Daily Mail interview, Mimi said Coolio was seeing other women and it was an amicable arrangement. Mimi and Coolio's relationship was a "beautiful thing," adding that other women might say the same thing about the rapper. "I don't want to disparage anyone from feeling loved, it's the last thing he would want. He was big on love," Ivey said.
As for Coolio's unconventional wish to skip a traditional funeral service, Ivey said that his father "believed in his spirit as a whole, he believed in the soul, once his soul left that body, it's just the body." He wanted people to "celebrate the spirit" instead of his physical remains, Ivey said. His family is also planning a memorial, possibly at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.
Even if there is a celebration of life event, it will not be the end of Ivey paying tribute to his father. "I'm gonna celebrate his life for the rest of my life, while he continues his voyage into paradise. You never truly die if your spirit is still strong, you go to a higher place," Ivey told The Sun. "He told me he was so good where he was that he didn't have anything to worry about."
Ivey went on to praise Coolio as a "great father" who always made time for his children. The family also wants Coolio's fans to know "how thankful and grateful" they are for the outpouring of support and love they have shown Coolio.
"To see the impact he's had on the world means so much to our whole family right now," Ivey said. "For his kids and his family, he really went out of his way to let us know that he cared about us, but he cared about his fans just as much... He never disconnected from them, never disrespected them, would never say no to a picture, always had time for them."