Coolio Returns To Court On Drug And Gun Charges

Rapper is scheduled for Southwest Superior Court Tuesday to answer charges from September arrest.

Grammy-winning rapper Coolio is scheduled to be arraigned in Southwest Superior
Court Tuesday (Feb. 9) in Torrance, Calif., on misdemeanor drug and gun possession
charges, according to the court clerk.

Coolio (born Artis Leon Ivey Jr.) is accused of carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle,
driving without a license, possessing less than an ounce of marijuana in a vehicle and
driving on the wrong side of the road. He has pleaded innocent to the charges, which
stem from a September arrest.

Jan. 7, Coolio, 35, made an appearance in municipal court and waived a preliminary
hearing, leading Judge Deanne Myers to move the case forward to Tuesday’s hearing.

In the fall, Coolio predicted that his run-in with the law would have little impact in the
greater scheme of things. “I’m not bitter about it. … This is not going to hurt me a whole lot
as far as my career. It’s not going to hurt me too much personally; I might have to spend a
little money to get an attorney, but I’m not going to jail,” Coolio said. “I’m not going to do
any time. If I get a fine, it’s not going to be more than like $500 or $1,000.”

He was arrested Sept. 15 after a Los Angeles County Sheriff Department deputy
allegedly spotted the rapper driving his sports utility vehicle on the wrong side of the
road. If convicted, Coolio could face up to a year in county jail and a fine for vehicle code
violations.

Coolio established himself with his 1994 debut LP, Like a Thief, featuring such
hits as “Fantastic Voyage” (RealAudio excerpt),
and the 1995 triple-platinum follow-up, Gangsta’s Paradise, which included
“1-2-3-4
(Sumpin’ New)”
(RealAudio excerpt) and the title track.

No release date has been set for the rapper’s fourth album. The as-yet-untitled LP will
include the good-times single “The Bump,” which Coolio predicted will begin hitting the
airwaves in the coming months.

“It’s basically a fun song, a party song,” he said. “What I’m talking about is having really
loud music in your car, having the bumps. It’s just straight fun, like ‘Fantastic Voyage’
mixed with ‘County Line,’ mixed with ’1-2-3-4 (Sumpin’ New).’ It’s like all that mixed
together.”

In December, Coolio avoided jail time but received six months’ probation and a $30,000
fine after being convicted in a German court for being an accessory to a robbery and
causing bodily injury (to the owner of a clothing store).

The singer and members of his group, the 40 Thieves, were accused in November 1997
of stealing clothing valued at $940 from a Stuttgart, Germany, boutique hosting a publicity event for
the rapper. The boutique’s owner said Coolio punched her when she tried to stop him.