The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Monday, September 22, 2014

Monday Music "Gansta's paradise" by Coolio

Well I survived camping this past weekend.  the boys had a good time tubing and shooting.  I saw some impressive shooting groups.  Apparently they pay attention well when I was giving them some pointers   Mostly no "Prairie Dogging" 
when using a bolt action Rifle.

   I was going to roll with "George Thorogood" and "Bad to the Bone".  But I was in my Ranger rather than the motorcycle on the way from work this morning and my Ranger has a much better sound system so I had the base up and this song came on.  I am not a fan of "gangsta Rap", I tend to like the "Old School" rap that was prevalent before Gangsta Rap exploded on the scene in the early 90's  and quickly replaced the "Old School" rap that was popular.  I do like a few songs and this one is one of them.. It tells of a story of a "OG" and the lifestyle and choices he is making and forced to make.    Well I decided to "roll" with Coolio instead.  This song is for Momma Fargo that like rollin "Dirty in her G-Ride" or the "Barbie Mobile." in " Da Hood".
       I am sure this song was in her repertoire of songs to blend in the hood.  

"Gangsta's Paradise" is a song by American rapper Coolio, featuring singer L.V.. The song was released on Coolio's album Gangsta's Paradise, as well as the Dangerous Minds soundtrack in 1995. It sampled the chorus and music of the song "Pastime Paradise" by Stevie Wonder (1976).
The song was also listed at number 69 on Billboard's Greatest Songs of All-Time and number one biggest selling single of 1995 on U.S. Billboard. In 2008, it was ranked number 38 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop. Coolio was awarded a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance, two MTV Video Music Award's for Best Rap Video and for Best Video from a Film and a Billboard Music Award for the song/album. The song was voted as the best single of the year in The Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics poll.
The song has sold over 5 million copies in the U.S., UK, and Germany alone,[4][5][6] and at least 5.7 million worldwide, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time. Coolio has performed this song live at the Billboard Music Awards with L.V. and Stevie Wonder, at the Grammy Awards with L.V., and also with Dutch singer Trijntje Oosterhuis.

The music is a reworking of Stevie Wonder's "Pastime Paradise", a song from his album Songs in the Key of Life. "Gangsta's Paradise" uses the same melody, but a different orchestration of the same music. Coolio's main contribution to the song was in changing the original's attack on living in the past or future (and not dealing with the pressing issues of the present) to the story of a young African-American "gangsta", regretting the life he has chosen.
The song begins with a line from Psalm 23:4 from the Bible: "As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death", but then diverges with: "I take a look at my life / And realize there's nothin' left." Adding to some of the religious overtones are choral vocals in the background.
This song is one of the few Coolio tracks that does not feature profanity.

The music video for the song was directed by Antoine Fuqua of Propaganda Films, and featured Michelle Pfeiffer reprising her earlier role in Dangerous Minds.
When Coolio won the Best Rap Video at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1996, he said in a press conference that Bone Thugs-n-Harmony deserved the award for "Tha Crossroads".

The single reached number one in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Australia, and New Zealand, making it Coolio's most successful single. Following Coolio's appearance in the UK TV show Celebrity Big Brother 2009 Gangsta's Paradise re-entered the UK singles chart peaking at #31. In the United States, the single spent twelve weeks in the top two of the Billboard Hot 100, of which three were spent at #1 and nine at #2, putting "Gangsta's Paradise" in joint fourth place for the most weeks spent at #2 by a single in the chart's history.

There are several parodies of the song, including "Amish Paradise" by "Weird Al" Yankovic, which was released the following year, reaching number 53 on the U.S. chart. Coolio claimed that he did not give permission for the parody, which led to disagreements between the two. Yankovic claimed that he had been told Coolio had given the go-ahead through his record label, and apologized. Because of this incident, Yankovic now only does parodies by artists that he has spoken with directly, rather than through intermediaries. Photos from the XM Satellite Radio booth at the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show suggest Yankovic and Coolio may have made amends.
The director of the music video for “Amish Paradise” was “Weird Al” himself. “Weird Al” has directed many of his music videos since 1986.
The music video for "Amish Paradise" is very similar to the "Gangsta's Paradise" music video, although several concepts have been parodied. These include:

  • When Yankovic states that Amish shun electricity, several Amish stomp on electronic devices, such as CDs, floppy disks, laptops and a Slim Whitman LP album.
  • When Yankovic says he is up at 4:30 in the morning milking cows, he is shown milking a cow directly into a bowl of cereal instead of a milk pail. A box of corn flakes can be seen next to him. The Kellogg's brand name is covered.
  • In the next scene, when Jebediah is "feeding the chickens" he is giving them pizza.
  • The line "Tonight we're gonna party like it's 1699," is a not-so subtle jab at Prince and his song "1999". Prince is one of the very few artists in the music industry who has consistently refused to let Weird Al record parodies of his songs.
  • When Al is churning butter, a woman walks by, and he is seen churning faster in an arguably suggestive manner.
  • When the man is sawing and checking his sundial watch (on a cloudy day), the man behind him is playing golf (the follow-through of which resembles the use of a scythe).
  • When Al says "We sell quilts at discount price," a wooden booth is shown selling quilts, with a sign that says 'OUR PRICES ART INSANE!!!' in a parody of 'Crazy Eddie' advertisements.
  • At one point Al is seen reading a fake Lancaster, Pennsylvania, newspaper, with the headline "Much Butter Was Churned". This is a homage to the film Witness, which takes place in Lancaster County, home to perhaps the most well-known Amish communities.
  • In one part, two boys are looking at a supposed "Amish Babes" porn magazine (the cover slogan says "Plow My Field!"), but in the centerfold all the woman is showing is her leg up to her knee, insinuating that this is considered to be scandalous among the Amish.
  • When the young Amish children are on Yankovic's knee, they each have a beard, even though they appear to be about 6 years old.
  • Al's face is seen, with him sweating more every time a close up is taken to mock how L.V. is sweating profusely in Coolio's video.
  • When Yankovic states he's "scoring points for the afterlife," he takes off his hat to reveal a hairstyle very similar to that seen on the cover of his album Bad Hair Day. These are both parodies of Coolio's trademark hairstyle.
  • On the back of the carriage just before the sign reading, "Welcome to Lancaster," there's a "bumper" sticker stating, "How am I driving?" Other signs are seen saying among other things "BE GOOD", "NO FUN", "SIN-FREE ZONE", and "Mind Your Manners".
  • The man in white shirt and glasses attempting to use the vintage telephone (and in turn being coated with dust) is fashioned after a photograph of 1960s comedian Allan Sherman.
  • The lyrics "No phone, no lights, no motorcar - not a single luxury... like Robinson Crusoe, it's primitive as can be" are originally from the closing theme song to Gilligan's Island.
  • Near the very end, Yankovic is shown walking away from a barn while everything around him moves backwards in a rewinding fashion; for this effect, the scene was recorded normally while Weird Al lip syncs the words backwards, so when the scene is shown backwards, his lips sync with the song itself. The inspiration for this scene was the video for the rap group Pharcyde's "Drop", which was filmed in the same manner, and the backwards scene performed in the movie Top Secret!
  • The video features Florence Henderson in the role originally portrayed by Michelle Pfeiffer. Reportedly, Henderson jumped at the chance to be featured in the parody, after seeing the Coolio video.
  • Al's parents Nick and Mary Yankovic are featured in the music video.
  • The video shows many aspects of regular Amish life, such as raising a barn (the scene directly parodies Witness). However, when the barn is raised, the frame falls towards Yankovic, who is standing where a gap in the frame is. He has acknowledged that this gag is a Buster Keaton homage. Keaton performed this stunt in Steamboat Bill Jr.
American post-hardcore band In Fear And Faith covered the song in 2008. Swedish boy band E.M.D. covered the song on their 2010 album "Rewind". American singer-songwriter Kina Grannis has covered the song in concert. Richard Cheese covered the song on his 2010 album "Lavapalooza" (as "Johny Aloha"). New Zealand band Like a Storm covered the song for their 2012 album, "Chaos Theory". American band Falling in Reverse covered the song on the album Punk Goes 90's 2. American industrial band Battery covered the song on their 1996 album, "Distance".
Kris Allen, winner of the eighth season of American Idol, has also performed an acoustic cover in concert.
As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
I take a look at my life and realize there's nothing left
'Coz I've been blastin' and laughin' so long, that
Even my mama thinks that my mind is gone
But I ain't never crossed a man that didn't deserve it
Me be treated like a punk you know that's unheard of
You better watch how you're talkin', and where you're walkin'
Or you and your homies might be lined in chalk
I really hate to trip but I gotta, loc
As I grow I see myself in the pistol smoke, fool
I'm the kinda G the little homies wanna be like
On my knees in the night, sayin' prayers in the streetlight
Been spendin' most their lives, livin' in the gangsta's paradise
Been spendin' most their lives, livin' in the gangsta's paradise
Keep spendin' most our lives, livin' in the gangsta's paradise
Keep spendin' most our lives, livin' in the gangsta's paradise
They got the situation, they got me facin'
I can't live a normal life, I was raised by the stripes
So I gotta be down with the hood team
Too much television watchin' got me chasin' dreams
I'm an educated fool with money on my mind
Got my 10 in my hand and a gleam in my eye
I'm a loc'd out gangsta set trippin' banger
And my homies is down so don't arouse my anger, fool
Death ain't nothin' but a heartbeat away
I'm livin' life, do or die, what can I say
I'm twenty-three now, but will I live to see twenty-four
The way things are going I don't know
Tell me why are we, so blind to see
That the one's we hurt, are you and me
Been spendin' most their lives, livin' in the gangsta's paradise
Been spendin' most their lives, livin' in the gangsta's paradise
Keep spendin' most our lives, livin' in the gangsta's paradise
Keep spendin' most our lives, livin' in the gangsta's paradise
Power and the money, money and the power
Minute after minute, hour after hour
Everybody's runnin', but half of them ain't lookin'
What's going on in the kitchen, but I don't know what's cookin'
They say I gotta learn, but nobody's here to teach me
If they can't understand it, how can they reach me
I guess they can't, I guess they won't
I guess they front, that's why I know my life is out of luck, fool
Been spendin' most their lives, livin' in the gangsta's paradise
Been spendin' most their lives, livin' in the gangsta's paradise
Keep spendin' most our lives, livin' in the gangsta's paradise
Keep spendin' most our lives, livin' in the gangsta's paradise
Tell me why are we, so blind to see
That the one's we hurt, are you and me
Tell me why are we, so blind to see
That the one's we hurt, are you and me
Published by
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, EMI Music Publishing, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.


  1. Love Coolio. Love Weird Al. Now...I am missing me those prairie dogs. Great target practice. Yes, I know...sick, sick.