`It's the sound of rap growing up, gaining wisdom without losing too much attitude'
ANDY GILL ON ALBUMS; Coolio My Soul Tommy Boy TBCD 1180
Coolio's third album, My Soul, continues the formula of its predecessors, with raps built on appropriate grooves - the comparatively discreet sex- rap "Ooh La La", for instance, uses "Pull up to the Bumper", while the doomed crime rap "Nature of the Business" employs Glenn Frey's "Smuggler's Blues" to evoke a shared outlaw milieu. The results bear out the music's pertinence, with the latter in particular as atmospherically efficient as Michael Mann's Heat. In contrast to the empty bravado of such as 2Pac and The Notorious BIG, however, Coolio uses the gangsta style as a backdrop to illustrate his own development. "One Mo" has all the heft and swagger of classic G-funk, right down to the vocoder vocal, but the message is less brutal: "I had my finger on the trigger," sings Coolio, "but I couldn't pull it"; for once, such reservation is not viewed as evidence of deficient manhood.
The message is further developed on the album's two stand-out cuts - the single and the title-track. The graceful, gentle groove of "My Soul" is the sound of rap growing up, gaining wisdom without losing too much of its attitude, while the lyric acknowledges the need to pass beyond the genre's current flawed state: "In two decades, rap went from `Planet Rock' to crack rock; now everybody got a pop, and they don't stop, till another brother drop". The elegiac strings recur again, in the form of Pachelbel's Canon, for "C U When U Get There", the most articulate of post-gangsta sentiments, which finds Coolio grimly pondering the twisted sickness of a scene in which young kids not only find humour in the sight of other kids being shot, but also find Coolio's own distaste for that situation somehow objectionable.
Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
Ohio Democrat Teresa Fedor speaks out during abortion debate to reveal she has been raped – and is interrupted by laughter from Republicans
Germanwings plane crash: Investigators may have already found remains of suspected killer co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
Children take eight Isis captives to be beheaded in latest propaganda video
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
- 1 Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
- 2 Ohio Democrat Teresa Fedor speaks out during abortion debate to reveal she has been raped – and is interrupted by laughter from Republicans
- 3 Germanwings plane crash: I have depression. That doesn't make me a psychopath
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Web Developer -...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits - see advert: Ashdown Group: .N...
£25 - 30K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an exceptional 3D Package Designer / 3...
£Competitive: Guru Careers: We are seeking a strong Middleweight / Senior Inte...