Coolio’s death at 59 should remind Black men not to neglect their health care
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By Preach Jacobs, The State
Coolio, who rose to prominence after the Grammy-winning “Gangsta’s Paradise,” died last week at the age of 59. The details surrounding his death are still vague, and TMZ showed pictures of him in good spirits just days before his passing. His death highlights a much larger issue: Since 2020, Black male rappers have been dying young by non-violent deaths.
DMX passed away at 50; Black Rob died two weeks later at 52. The list also included Biz Markie, Shock G from Digital Underground, and Gift of Gab from Blackalicious, all in their 40s or 50s. I began thinking about the cause of these premature deaths and looking inward. I began to see the ultimate tragedy of not seeing Black men get to grow old.
I think of the Chris Rock joke about how his family would handle any medical issue growing up. Rock joked, “I broke my leg once; daddy poured Robitussin all over it…Let that ‘tussin get down to the bone!” Whatever the case, the solution was just Robitussin.
It was funny and, of course, mostly tongue-in-cheek, but the sentiment was genuine. After this past year with my father battling prostate cancer, the questions came up to me: Do you know where your health lies? I would ask my Black male friends about screenings and checkups, and there would be discomfort in the conversation. It could be a lack of health care and financial issues, but it could just be complete mistrust of going to medical professionals.
Black Americans should be aware of their risk for high cholesterol, among other things.
Our breaking news archive often covers Black health.
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