Coolio's death has the likes of Snoop Dogg, Ice-T, LL Cool J and Vanilla Ice sadly memorializing their longtime partner in rhyme -- and now a fellow West Coast O.G.'s delivering his own eulogy.
TMZ Hip Hop caught up with Ras Kass, who -- like so many in hip hop -- is sharing memories of Coolio, but he's also saluting his mic skills.
Ras and Coolio have several records together ... including one on the late rapper's magnum opus "Gangsta's Paradise," but their relationship dates back before Ras was even old enough to drive.
He admits being a local knucklehead growing up in Watts when he befriended Coolio's longtime partner Bryan "Wino" Dobbs ... who eventually passed his early work to Coolio while Ras was locked away in juvenile detention.
After a stern lecturing to get his act right, Ras obliged and was soon on tour and rocking Lollapalooza while still a teenager!
Ras notes Coolio's hip hop legacy is extra special, considering his brand of West Coast boogie was selling multi-platinum ... at the same time as gangsta rap's popularity peak when folks like 2Pac, Snoop Dogg, and Ice Cube reigned supreme on the rap charts.
He also remembers the good times -- such as Coolio's Grammy Award win for his mega-hit "Gangsta's Paradise" back in 1996.