1,2,3,4 (Sumpin’ New) – Coolio | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#5) & R&B (#24); 1996

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Rap trends seesawed from gangsta hardcore to upbeat fun anthems in the first half of the 1990’s with artists lining up on both sides of the genre. With Coolio the two came together in one individual.

Born in Compton, Artis Leon Ivey Jr. embodied conflicting traits: an intelligent studious boy who also fell into drug use and criminal activity. While attending community college, his rap performances earned him the nickname “Coolio Inglesias’.

Following some failed singles, Coolio broke through big time with his own takes on Lakeside’s #1 R&B smash Fantastic Voyage and Stevie Wonder’s Pasttime Paradise.

The latter, reworked as Gangsta’s Paradise, gave Coolio a monster crossover hit. Too Hot did moderately well, then party anthem 1,2,3,4 (Sumpin’ New) carried him back to the pop heights, fueled by samples from Thighs High (Grip Your Hips And Move) by Tom Browne and Wikka Wrap by The Evasions.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Jammin James Carter
  • Poison Ivey

Lyrics Written by:

  • Artis Ivey Jr.
  • Adrian Sear
  • Tom Browne