Grand Daddy I.U., a member of the legendary Juice Crew, has reportedly passed away.
The veteran rapper-producer, whose real name was Ayub Bey, died at the age of 54 on Tuesday (December 13), according to AllHipHop. A cause of death has yet to be revealed.
The news was confirmed by DJ Chuck Chillout, a friend and collaborator of I.U., who mourned his sudden death on social media. “Man this one hurts RIP to coldchillin artist MC @granddaddy_iu rest well bro u will be miss[ed],” he wrote next to a photo of the late MC on Instagram.
Many others in the Hip Hop community also reacted to Grand Daddy I.U.’s passing, including LL COOL J, Busta Rhymes, Method Man, Sheek Louch, Just Blaze and more.
“Rest in power King. HipHop was in your DNA. @granddaddy_iu Thank You for your contribution,” LL COOL J wrote in a separate Instagram post. Meth added in the comments section: “Whaaaaaat?! No way! Long Island Legend … rest in power King.”
A shocked Busta wrote: “Waking up to this crazy. RIP ALMIGHTY GDIU!!”
Born in Queens, New York and raised in Long Island, Grand Daddy I.U. signed to Cold Chillin’ Records in 1989 after getting his demo tape into the hands of Biz Markie. He released his debut album Smooth Assassin in 1990, which spawned a pair of Billboard chart hits in “Something New” and “Sugar Free.”
I.U. returned with his sophomore LP, Lead Pipe, in 1994, while notching collaborations with Big L, JAY-Z, The Notorious B.I.G., Large Professor and more.
He also stayed busy on the production side in the ’90s, crafting tracks for the likes of Biz Markie, Roxanne Shanté, KRS-One, Ice-T and Heltah Skeltah.
In more recent years, Grand Daddy I.U. released projects under Steady Flow and Get@Em Records. His last albums arrived in 2020 with Self Made MAN and Shots Fired. In May, he teamed up with Shortee Sha and Drawzilla for the single “Rumble.”
HipHopDX sends its condolences to Grand Daddy I.U.’s friends, family and fans across the globe. Check out more reactions below:
GRAND DADDY IU YOU WERE A GREAT PERSON AND IM SAD RIGHT NOW. pic.twitter.com/UZw3LrABBq
— PETEROCK.COM (@PeteRock) December 13, 2022
Worst news ever.
REST IN PEACE to GRAND DADDY I.U. the legendary MC/ Lyricist / Ghost writer / producer. Hempstead, Long Island's own 💔 #SmoothAssassin
— R.A. the Rugged Man (@RAtheRuggedMan) December 13, 2022
damn, man. RIP Grand Daddy I.U. pic.twitter.com/N9egd1jBlh
— The Big Ragu (@vinnie_paz) December 13, 2022
RIP the Smooth Assassin Grand Daddy I.U. 🙏🏾 🕊️ Hip Hop we all we got!
— Dominick (@CrookedIntriago) December 13, 2022
Salute Grand Daddy I.U. Forever. #PoPDuKe
— Freddie Foxxx (@BumpyKnuckles) December 13, 2022
Rest In Peace Grand Daddy IU. Legendary Pen Game, wrote for all the greats. 😂
— HUGHIE! (@MRMFNeXquire) December 13, 2022
RIP to Hempstead, Long Island's own Grand Daddy I.U., signed to Cold Chillin' in 1989 by his friend and fellow LI legend Biz Markie. Always loved this video. (And I also love how this is ripped straight from a VHS recording of @VideoMusicBox.) 🕊️ pic.twitter.com/0ladvERxag
— Dee Phunk (@DeePhunk) December 13, 2022