Photo: Johnny Nunez | WireImage
  /  12.13.2022

Unfortunately, another one of hip hop’s OGs, Grand Daddy I.U., has passed away at the age of 54, TMZ reports. LL Cool J, Chuck D, Busta Rhymes, and Method Man all mourned the veteran rapper on social media when news broke today (Dec. 13). I.U. was a leading artist on the iconic label Cold Chillin’ Records in the late 1980s. Before then, the late Biz Markie assisted him with getting signed after hearing one of his demo tapes. The legend’s debut album, Smooth Assassin, later helped him land several charting songs, including “Something New” and “Sugar Free.” Although his cause of death has yet to be revealed, it is a sad time for hip hop.


“Rest in power King. Hip Hop was in your DNA. @granddaddy_iu Thank You for your contribution,” LL Cool J also stated on Instagram. Method Man commented on LL’s post: “Long Island Legend … rest in power King.” Busta Rhymes said, “Waking up to this crazy, RIP ALMIGHTY GDIU!!”

Parting ways with Biz Markie following a dispute, I.U. returned to the scene in 1994 with his sophomore album, Lead Pipe. Spending much of the ’90s recording guest appearances alongside The Notorious B.I.G., Big L, Positive K, and Roxanne Shanté, the rapper also went on to score many credits as a producer. He contributed beats to projects by Das EFX, Heltah Skeltah, KRS-One, Ice-T, and more throughout his memorable career. Known for his clever wordplay and chic attire, Grand Daddy I.U. gained acclaim as one of the more heady rappers of his era with a lyrical style that would influence numerous emcees. Rap star and “Drink Champs” co-host N.O.R.E. has acknowledged Grand Daddy I.U. as his favorite lyricist of all-time on numerous occasions.

Rest in peace to the great Grand Daddy I.U.

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