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Coolio - It Takes A Thief

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It Takes A Thief

Coolio

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Coolio's debut, It Takes a Thief, brought him immediate success, establishing his reputation as a hard-knock, gun-slinging gangster with a biting sense of humor. Maybe it was because of his appearance -- heavy eyelids and finger-in-a-light-socket hairstyle -- or maybe it was because of his laid-back vocal delivery, but he never seemed quite as menacing as other West Coast rappers spitting verses about the same thuggery. Instead of trying to incite fear in his raps, he complained that he didn't like having to live that way, and noted that there wasn't really a choice in the matter. Practically all the songs on It Takes a Thief are about one of two things: gang-banging and robbing in the ghettos while trying to make ends meet, or about hard times as a crack addict on the streets. Not exactly the most uplifting topics, but when the stories of strife are rapped smoothly over melodic funk anthems, people automatically shake their butts and overlook the darker subtext. In actuality, the content of the album is pretty similar to Marvin Gaye's What's Going On, if you can believe that, with Coolio wondering why society is so messed up and trying to find a way to make ends meet. Like Nas (who also came out with his debut in 1994), his lyrics are justifications and apologies for living the thug life in an era when most popular rappers glorified the hardcore lifestyle. Rather than hyping his toughness, he explains ghetto trials and tribulations. It's hard to imagine Snoop or 2Pac rapping about standing in the welfare line ("County Line"), or being impoverished and malnourished and eating out of a garbage can ("Can-O-Corn"), but Coolio tells these tales of woe matter-of-factly while candy-coated beats and playful melodies bounce along like P-Funk. With its infectious "Slide, slide, slippity slide" chorus, it went unnoticed that his breakthrough single, "Fantastic Voyage," was actually a song about escapism, and that "I Remember" was about the angst of getting shot by a gang member for unknowingly wearing the wrong colors, rather than a sentimental ditty about the good ol' days. Regardless of the commonly misinterpreted underlying meanings, the songs are undeniable party jams, and with future albums, the lyrics would focus more and more on the dancefloor aspect. The whole journey is a fantastic and underrated juxtaposition between good times and bad times, and ultimately, even though his second album, Gangsta's Paradise, sold more copies, this debut represents Coolio at his finest hour.
© Jason Lymangrover /TiVo

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It Takes A Thief

Coolio

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1
Fantastic Voyage LP Version
Coolio
00:05:34

Otis Stokes, Writer - Coolio, Writer, MainArtist - Dobbs The Wino, Producer, Writer - Stephen Shockley, Writer - Fred Alexander Jr., Writer - Thomas Shelby, Writer - Marvin Craig, Writer - Tiemeyer McCain, Writer - Norman Beavers, Writer - Mark Adam Wood Jr., Writer - Frederick Lewis, Writer

© 2004 Tommy Boy Music ℗ 1994 Tommy Boy Music

2
County Line LP Version
Coolio
00:02:57

S. Robinson, Writer - M. Glover, Writer - C. ALLEN, Writer - J. Alexander, Writer - W. Stewart, Writer - L. Smith, Writer - E. Fletcher, Writer - M. Beard, Writer - Coolio, Performance, MainArtist - A. Jones, Writer - A. Ivey, Writer - B. Dobbs, Writer - Dobbs The Wino, Producer - C. Chase, Writer - F. Thompson, Writer - L. Dobson, Writer - M. Bynum, Writer - S.Guy, Writer - H. Henderson, Writer

© 2004 Tommy Boy Music ℗ 1994 Tommy Boy Music

3
Mama, I'm In Love Wit A Gangsta (feat. LeShaun) LP Mix
Coolio feat. LeShaun
00:04:09

C. Jasper, Writer - E. Isley, Writer - M. Isley, Writer - O. Isley, Writer - R. AYERS, Writer - R. ISLEY., Writer - Coolio, Performance, MainArtist - A. Ivey, Writer - Dobbs The Wino, Producer - LeShaun, Performance, FeaturedArtist

© 2004 Tommy Boy Music ℗ 1994 Tommy Boy Music

4
Hand On My NutsAC NutsAC LP Version
Coolio
00:03:27

Coolio, MainArtist - A. Ivey, Writer - Dobbs The Wino, Producer

© 2004 Tommy Boy Music ℗ 1994 Tommy Boy Music

5
Ghetto Cartoon (feat. LeShaun) LP Version
Coolio feat. LeShaun
00:03:13

Coolio, MainArtist - A. Ivey, Writer - W. Woods, Writer - A. Dewalt, Writer - LeShaun, FeaturedArtist - F. Terrem, Writer - Junior P, Contributor - Rashad Coles, Producer

© 2004 Tommy Boy Music ℗ 1994 Tommy Boy Music

6
Smokin' Sticks LP Version
Coolio
00:03:19

T. CONWAY, Writer - Coolio, MainArtist - A. Ivey, Writer - Dobbs The Wino, Producer - The Homies, Background Vocals - Billy Boy, Producer - Brian G, Co-Producer - A. Feldman, Writer

© 2004 Tommy Boy Music ℗ 1994 Tommy Boy Music

7
Can-O-Corn LP Version
Coolio
00:03:40

Coolio, MainArtist - A. Ivey, Writer - Dobbs The Wino, Producer - The Homies, Background Vocals - Joe Blow, Horn

© 2004 Tommy Boy Music ℗ 1994 Tommy Boy Music

8
U Know Hoo! (feat W. C. of the M.A.A.D. Circle) LP Version
Coolio feat W. C. of the M.A.A.D. Circle
00:03:51

W. Calhoun, Writer - Coolio, Performance, MainArtist - L. Calhoun, Writer - W. C. of the M.A.A.D. Circle, Performance, FeaturedArtist - W.C. and Crazy Toons, Producer

© 2004 Tommy Boy Music ℗ 1994 Tommy Boy Music

9
It Takes A Thief (feat. LeShaun) LP Mix
Coolio feat. LeShaun
00:05:05

Spoon, Co-Producer - Coolio, Performance, MainArtist - A. Ivey, Writer - Craig Coleman, Producer - LeShaun, FeaturedArtist

© 2004 Tommy Boy Music ℗ 1994 Tommy Boy Music

10
Bring Back Somethin Fo Da Hood LP Version
Coolio
00:03:11

R. MacDonald, Writer - Coolio, MainArtist - A. Ivey, Writer - Dobbs The Wino, Producer - The Homies, Background Vocals - Stan "The Guitar Man" Jones, Bass Guitar

© 2004 Tommy Boy Music ℗ 1994 Tommy Boy Music

11
N Da Closet LP Version
Coolio
00:03:51

K. WAKEFIELD, Writer - F. Wilson, Writer - Coolio, MainArtist - J.Nyx, Writer - M Gaye, Writer - A. Ivey, Writer - Dobbs The Wino, Producer - Clinton Sands, Bass - G.A.T., Background Vocals

© 2004 Tommy Boy Music ℗ 1994 Tommy Boy Music

12
On My Way To Harlem LP Version
Coolio
00:03:12

Coolio, MainArtist - A. Ivey, Writer - Dobbs The Wino, Producer

© 2004 Tommy Boy Music ℗ 1994 Tommy Boy Music

13
Sticky Fingers LP Version
Coolio
00:02:59

S. Robinson, Writer - M. Glover, Writer - E. Fletcher, Writer - Coolio, Performance, MainArtist - A. Ivey, Writer - B. Dobbs, Writer - Dobbs The Wino, Producer - C. Chase, Writer - Stan "The Guitar Man" Jones, Bass Guitar

© 2004 Tommy Boy Music ℗ 1994 Tommy Boy Music

14
Thought You Knew LP Version
Coolio
00:03:19

Coolio, MainArtist - A. Ivey, Writer - Dobbs The Wino, Producer - P. S., Contributor - Billy Boy and PS, Additional Vocals

© 2004 Tommy Boy Music ℗ 1994 Tommy Boy Music

15
Ugly Bitches LP Version
Coolio
00:04:06

Doug Rasheed, All Instruments - Gold, Writer - Coolio, MainArtist - A. Ivey, Writer - Dobbs The Wino, Producer - Deene, Writer - The Homies, Background Vocals

© 2004 Tommy Boy Music ℗ 1994 Tommy Boy Music

16
I Remember (feat. J-RO and Billy Boy) LP Version
Coolio feat. J-RO of the Alkaholiks and Billy Boy
00:04:47

A. GREEN, Writer - K. Gamble, Writer - L. Huff, Writer - Spoon, Co-Producer - Mitchell, Writer - Coolio, Co-Producer, Vocals, MainArtist - J-Ro, FeaturedArtist - A. Ivey, Writer - Paul Stewart, Executive Producer - Billy Boy, FeaturedArtist - Clinton Sands, Bass

© 2004 Tommy Boy Music ℗ 1994 Tommy Boy Music

Albumbeschreibung

Coolio's debut, It Takes a Thief, brought him immediate success, establishing his reputation as a hard-knock, gun-slinging gangster with a biting sense of humor. Maybe it was because of his appearance -- heavy eyelids and finger-in-a-light-socket hairstyle -- or maybe it was because of his laid-back vocal delivery, but he never seemed quite as menacing as other West Coast rappers spitting verses about the same thuggery. Instead of trying to incite fear in his raps, he complained that he didn't like having to live that way, and noted that there wasn't really a choice in the matter. Practically all the songs on It Takes a Thief are about one of two things: gang-banging and robbing in the ghettos while trying to make ends meet, or about hard times as a crack addict on the streets. Not exactly the most uplifting topics, but when the stories of strife are rapped smoothly over melodic funk anthems, people automatically shake their butts and overlook the darker subtext. In actuality, the content of the album is pretty similar to Marvin Gaye's What's Going On, if you can believe that, with Coolio wondering why society is so messed up and trying to find a way to make ends meet. Like Nas (who also came out with his debut in 1994), his lyrics are justifications and apologies for living the thug life in an era when most popular rappers glorified the hardcore lifestyle. Rather than hyping his toughness, he explains ghetto trials and tribulations. It's hard to imagine Snoop or 2Pac rapping about standing in the welfare line ("County Line"), or being impoverished and malnourished and eating out of a garbage can ("Can-O-Corn"), but Coolio tells these tales of woe matter-of-factly while candy-coated beats and playful melodies bounce along like P-Funk. With its infectious "Slide, slide, slippity slide" chorus, it went unnoticed that his breakthrough single, "Fantastic Voyage," was actually a song about escapism, and that "I Remember" was about the angst of getting shot by a gang member for unknowingly wearing the wrong colors, rather than a sentimental ditty about the good ol' days. Regardless of the commonly misinterpreted underlying meanings, the songs are undeniable party jams, and with future albums, the lyrics would focus more and more on the dancefloor aspect. The whole journey is a fantastic and underrated juxtaposition between good times and bad times, and ultimately, even though his second album, Gangsta's Paradise, sold more copies, this debut represents Coolio at his finest hour.
© Jason Lymangrover /TiVo

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