It Takes a Thief
It Takes a Thief.jpg
Studio album by Coolio


July 19, 1994


April 1993 - February 1994


Echo Sound
(Los Angeles, California)


West Coast hip hop, Hip hop, Gangsta rap, G-funk, Hardcore hip hop




Tommy Boy Records / Warner Bros.


Billy Boy (co.), Brian G (co.), CS Coleman, Rashad Coles, Coolio (co.), DJ Crazy Toones, Dobbs the Wino, Doug Rasheed (co.), Spoon (co.), Paul Stewart (exec.), WC (co.)

Coolio chronology


Gangsta's Paradise (1995)

It Takes a Thief is the debut studio album by American rapper Coolio, released in July 19, 1994 on Tommy Boy Records and Warner Bros. Records. Recording sessions took place at Echo Sound Studios in Los Angeles from April 1993 to February 1994. Production was handled by Dobbs the Wino, Rashad Coles, DJ Crazy Toones and CS Coleman with co-production from Coolio, Billy Boy, Spoon, Brian G, Doug Rasheed and WC. It features guest appearances by LeShaun, PS (of 40 Thevz), Billy Boy, WC, J-Ro (of Tha Alkaholiks), Junior P. and G.A.T.

The album debuted at #8 on the US Billboard 200 and #5 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. It Takes a Thief spawned the four singles and music videos created for the songs: "County Line", "Fantastic Voyage", "Mama, I'm Love Wit' A Gangsta" and "I Remember".

The album received praise for bringing a humourous and lighthearted perspective to the often violent and profane themes of typical Gangsta Rap. The single "Fantastic Voyage" served as Coolio's breakthrough song, and peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200. The songs "Smokin' Stix", "Can-O-Corn" and "Sticky Fingers" appeared in the film Poetic Justice, although none appeared on the soundtrack.

Track listing[edit | edit source]

No. Title Performer(s) Writer(s) Producer(s) Time
1. "Fantastic Voyage (Timber Mix)" Coolio Alexander, Berwers, Craig, Dobbs, Ivey, McCain, Shelby, Shockley, Stokes,  Woods Dobbs the Wino 5:32
2. "County Line" Coolio Alexander, Allen, Beard, Bynum, Chase, Dobbs, Dobson, Fletcher, Glover, Guy, Henderson, Ivey, Jones, Robinson, Smith, Stewart, Thompson Dobbs the Wino 2:57
3. "Mama, I'm in Love wit a Gangsta" Coolio, LeShaun Ayers, Isley, Isley, Isley, Isley, Isley, Ivey, Jasper Dobbs the Wino 4:09
4. "Hand on My Nutsac" Coolio Ivey Dobbs the Wino 3:28
5. "Ghetto Cartoon" Coolio Dewait, Ivey, Perren, Woods Rashad Coles 3:13
6. "Smokin' Stix" Coolio Conway, Feldman, Ivey Dobbs the Wino, Billy Boy, Brian G. (co.) 3:20
7. "Can-O-Corn" Coolio Ivey Dobbs the Wino 3:40
8. "U Know Hoo!" Coolio Calhoun, Ivey Crazy Toones, WC (co.) 3:51
9. "It Takes a Thief" Coolio Ivey CS Coleman, Spoon (co.) 5:06
10. "Bring Back Somethin fo da Hood" Coolio Ivey, MacDonald Dobbs the Wino 3:11
11. "N da Closet" Coolio Gaye, Ivey, Nyx, Wakefield, Wilson Dobbs the Wino 3:51
12. "On My Way to Harlem" Coolio Ivey Dobbs the Wino 3:13
13. "Sticky Fingers" Coolio Chase, Dobbs, Ivey, Fletcher, Glover, Robinson Dobbs the Wino 2:59
14. "Thought You Knew" Coolio Ivey Dobbs the Wino 3:19
15. "Ugly Bitches" Coolio Deene, Gold, Ivey Dobbs the Wino, Doug Rasheed (co.) 4:06
16. "I Remember" Coolio, Billy Boy, J-Ro Gamble, Green, Huff, Ivey, Mitchell Dobbs the Wino, Spoon (co.), Coolio (co.) 4:47

Samples[edit | edit source]

Fantastic Voyage (Timber Mix)

  • "Fantastic Voyage" by Lakeside

County Line

Mama I'm in Love Wit a Gangsta

  • "Mystic Voyage" by Roy Ayers Ubiquity
  • "Summer Madness" by Kool & the Gang
  • "Coolin' Me Out" by The Isley Brothers

Hand on My Nutsac

  • "Hihache" by Lafayette Afro Rock Band
  • "Talkin'" by White Heat

Ghetto Cartoon

  • "Cleo's Mood" by Willie Mitchell

Smokin' Stix

  • "You Got It I Want It" by B.T. Express
  • "Who Got da Props?" by Black Moon


  • "Everlasting Love" by Rufus & Chaka Khan

It Takes a Thief

  • "Good Old Music" by Funkadelic
  • "2001" by The Cecil Holmes Soulful Sounds

Bring Back Somethin' Fo' da Hood

  • "Seven Minutes of Funk" by The Whole Darn Family
  • "Lover Jones" by Johnny "Guitar" Watson
  • "Genius of Love" by Tom Tom Club

N da Closet

  • "Zimba Ku" by Black Heat
  • "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)" by Marvin Gaye
  • "Body Talk" by Eddie Kendricks

On My Way to Harlem

  • "Funky President (People It's Bad)" by James Brown

Sticky Fingers

  • "It Feels So Good" by Grover Washington, Jr.
  • "Deep Cover" by Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Dogg

Thought You Knew

  • "Hobo Scratch" by Malcolm McLaren and World's Famous Supreme Team

Ugly Bitches

  • "Oh Honey" by Delegation

I Remember

  • "Tomorrow's Dream" by Al Green
  • "One Man Band" by Monk Higgins feat. The Specialites
  • "Synthetic Substitution" by Melvin Bliss
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