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Coolio Reflected on Fragility of Life in 2005 Interview: 'When It's Your Time to Go, You Go'

Coolio once reflected on the fragility of life in a wide-ranging interview with PEOPLE, 17 years before his untimely death at age 59.

The "Gangsta's Paradise" rapper talked to PEOPLE in 2005 about the international traveling he'd done with the United Service Organizations nonprofit, some of which involved visits to war-torn areas.

The star said that with the group, he toured the Balkans, then returned two years later to visit Albania, Kosovo, Bulgaria and Sarajevo on his own.

"They were barely finished with the war when I first went, but for me man, it's like this: When it's your time to go, you go," he said. "If you're going to die, you're gonna die, no matter where you are, what you're doing. That's why I'm not really scared to go anywhere."

He continued: "That's my job—to take hip-hop to another place, to bring it to everybody. The more places I go, the better it is for my sons when they get their rap career going."

RELATED: Coolio Hoped to Keep Playing as He Aged Like the Rolling Stones: 'Why Can't Hip-Hop Be Like That?'

Rapper/actor Coolio XX at the Flamingo Go Pool Dayclub at Flamingo Las Vegas on July 21, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Rapper/actor Coolio XX at the Flamingo Go Pool Dayclub at Flamingo Las Vegas on July 21, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Mindy Small/FilmMagic Coolio

RELATED: Coolio, Grammy Award-Winning 'Gangsta's Paradise' Rapper, Dead at 59

Coolio (real name Artis Leon Ivey Jr.) died on Wednesday at age 59 while at a friend's house in Los Angeles. His cause of death remains unclear.

The Grammy Award-winning artist's death was mourned by dozens of stars in the entertainment sphere, including Weird Al Yankovic, whose hiit "Amish Paradise" famously parodied "Gangsta's Paradise."

"RIP Coolio," he wrote alongside a photo of him hugging the rapper.

Dangerous Minds star Michelle Pfeiffer, who starred in Coolio's music video for "Gangsta's Paradise" — the lead single off the 1995 film's soundtrack — was among the first to mourn the artist's loss.

RELATED: Michelle Pfeiffer, Kenan Thompson, Snoop Dogg and More Pay Tribute to Coolio: 'Heartbroken'

"Heartbroken to hear of the passing of the gifted artist @coolio," she wrote alongside a clip of "Gangsta's Paradise" video. "A life cut entirely too short."

She added, "As some of you may know I was lucky enough to work with him on Dangerous Minds in 1995. He won a Grammy for his brilliant song on the soundtrack - which I think was the reason our film saw so much success."

"I remember him being nothing but gracious. 30 years later I still get chills when I hear the song. Sending love and light to his family. Rest in Power, Artis Leon Ivey Jr. ❤️."

Kenan Thompson also expressed shock after news of his death. Coolio provided the opening track, titled "Aw, Here It Goes!," for the Nickelodeon television series Kenan & Kel.

"Wait, now Coolio!!!" Thompson wrote in his Instagram Story.

He later reposted a tribute from Questlove, adding, "Damn homie!!! Rest in Power!!!"