I took this song, and said I was going to be a hip-hop fan. I was going to listen to Power 106. I was going to be one of the cool kids like those kids in the 8th grade, Cheryl's grade. If I memorized this song, I would officially have my pass.
I could be invited to their clique, their partiessssyeah didn't happen.
On the song itself, I couldn't tell if Coolio was trying to send a good message or a bad message.
But I got hooked by the visuals of the music video :
-Coolio's standing dreadlocks
-intense ass L.V. sweating his ass off in smoke and what looks to be like pain
-all the eses in the movie cuts
-the dude in the Dickies shirt being blocked out on MTV and BET because I thought it meant something bad when it was really them not wanting to advertise Dickies; I thought Dickies was gangster-wear from then out; starting wearing Dickies myself in '06 when I got them at the thrift store for cheap
-yelling Chicano student at the end
Gangsta's Paradise, 1995.
I desperately wanted to let everyone know that this is what I was down with.
I officially began to assert my newfound hardcore, hard-riding hip-hop identity at the local Disneyland for my sister's 8th birthday by telling some white person named Doug standing in line that "rock music and KROQ sucked."
Of course my 11-year old self assuming that said white person was indeed into "rock music and KROQ."
This all coincided with/facilitated me suddenly watching Family Matters so much, In the House with Coolio, Fresh Prince...yyy, I started to loved anything to do with black people, and that included my first favorite woman...Tyra Banks, foo!
Looking back at all this 15 years later, hey, sort of a dated song, but not a bad song to get into, gracias Coolio.
Somewhat relevant to me today.