Rapper Coolio has been charged after a handgun was allegedly found in his rucksack at Los Angeles international airport. The 53-year-old could be jailed for up to three years if convicted after the weapon was discovered while his bags were being X-rayed. Coolio, whose real name is Artis Leon Ivey, faces one count of possession of a firearm. He was scheduled to appear in court in LA on Thursday, but did not turn up. His lawyer told the judge his client had a performance in St Louis and could not get back in time.
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The gun was reportedly loaded when it was discovered hidden inside a book in September. Initially, police detained a 39-year-old bodyguard who claimed the bag was his before they identified items inside belonging to Coolio. The rapper, who is most famous for his 1995 track Gangsta's Paradise, now has to appear at court on 26 October. In 2001, he was convicted of carrying a concealed weapon in a vehicle and in 2009 he was convicted of possessing cocaine.