It Takes a Thief

It Takes a Thief

by Coolio
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

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

Overview

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. [It Takes a Thief was also made available in a "clean" version with all profanities removed.]

Product Details

Release Date:
07/19/1994
Label:
Tommy Boy
UPC:
0016998109922
catalogNumber:
1099

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Coolio   Primary Artist

Technical Credits

Ernie Isley   Composer
Smokey Robinson   Composer
Chris Jasper   Composer
Alla   Composer
Norman Beavers   Composer
Marvin Craig   Composer
Crazy Toones   Composer
Dobbs the Wino   Composer
Brian Dobbs   Composer
E. Fletcher   Composer
Kenny Gamble   Composer
Leon Huff   Composer
Frederick Lewis   Composer
Tiemeyer McCain   Composer
Joey Robinson   Composer
Thomas Shelby   Composer
Stephen Shockley   Composer
R. Smith   Composer
Chris Stokes   Composer
Otis Stokes   Composer
D. Thompson   Composer
Thomas Oliver Shelby   Composer
M.J. Wood   Composer
Fred Alexander   Composer
DJ Charlie Chase   Composer
Fred Alexander   Composer
F. Lewis   Composer
Pat Shockly   Composer
Mark Adam Wood   Composer

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >