Grand Daddy I.U. Has Passed Away

In a year already marred by loss, Hip-Hop has learned of another tragedy. Long Island, New York’s Grand Daddy I.U. has reportedly died. The MC/producer has been mourned publicly by LL Cool J, Pete Rock, Diamond D, Bumpy Knuckles, and others. At this time, no cause of death has been made public. TMZ also confirmed the news. I.U. was believed to be 54 years old.

Born Ayub Bey, Grand Daddy I.U. hails from Hempstead, Long Island, the same city that later introduced Prodigy, Roc Marciano, A+, and others. In the 1980s, I.U. was mentored by The Juice Crew’s Biz Markie. Ushered through Biz, I.U. would eventually sign to Cold Chillin’/Warner Bros. Records, where he released his Biz-produced 1990 debut, Smooth Assassin. Years later, I.U. maintained that he produced many of the tracks credited to the MC/DJ/producer who died in 2022. Like label-mate Kool G Rap, Grand Daddy I.U. helped introduce an upscale style of fashion, combined with slick-talking accounts of East Coast street life.

Grand Daddy I.U.’s Impeccable Flow Will Make You Put Your “Handz Up” (Video)

After Cold Chillin’ was distributed by Epic, I.U. followed with 1994’s Lead Pipe, which boasted production from Grand Daddy’s brother, Kaycee. During this period, he also worked with Big L as an MC, and produced for Das-EFX, Heltah Skeltah, KRS-One, and Ice-T.

In the 2000s, I.U. prevailed with independent material, including 2015’s P.I.M.P. (Paper Is My Priority), which featured Sadat X. He also had a standout appearance on Diamond’s The Diam Piece, Large Professor’s Professor @ Large, and Marco Polo’s The Stupendous Adventures of Marco Polo, among others. In 2022, he appeared on “Rumble,” alongside Shorty Sha and Drawzilla. I.U. re-released classic material through his Steady Flow Enterprises.

Diamond D & Grand Daddy I.U. Premiere “The Game,” Talk First Collaboration (Video)

Ambrosia For Heads extends condolences to the family, friends, and fans of Grand Daddy I.U.

#BonusBeat: A multi-part interview between Grand Daddy I.U. and Unkut: