Photo Credit: Johnny Nunez/WireImage
Pioneering Cold Chillin' Rapper Grand Daddy I.U. Has Died
Queens-raised rapper Grand Daddy I.U., best known for his work on Cold Chillin' Records, reportedly passed away on Tuesday at 54-years-old.
Hip-hop legendGrand Daddy I.U., who was best known as a member of Cold Chillin' Records, died at 54-years-old. TMZ confirmed the news on Tuesday (December 13) after DJ Chuck Chillout broke the news on his Facebook page. I.U., real name Ayub Bey, emerged in the 1980s as an act on now-defunct label Cold Chillin' Records among the likes of Biz Markie, Big Daddy Kane, MC Shan, Roxanne Shanté and others.
Markie assisted in Bey's signing to Cold Chillin' Records after hearing his demo tape through Bey's brother, Kay Cee. Bey's 1990 debut album, Smooth Assassin, produced two hit singles, "Something New” and “Sugar Free." The Queens-raised MC was famous for his signature tailored look, in which he often wore a suit and tie.
Smooth Assassin was followed by Bey's 1994 sophomore album Lead Pipe, but the MC also did ghostwriting work for Markie and Shanté. Along with ghostwriting, Bey produced for fellow rap acts including Das EFX, Heltah Skeltah, KRS-One, Ice-T. Lead Pipe received little promotion, spawning Bey to release standalone 1996 single "All About Money" before taking a ten-year retirement from rapping.
In 2007, he returned with third LP Stick to the Script, followed by P.I.M.P. (Paper Is My Priority) in 2015. Before his untimely passing, Bey was a media personality and conducted interviews with underground and old-school rap entertainers on his Facebook page, his final interview being with Raheim of Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five in November.
Read tributes to Granddaddy I.U. below.
\u201cWorst news ever. \nREST IN PEACE to GRAND DADDY I.U. the legendary MC/ Lyricist / Ghost writer / producer. Hempstead, Long Island's own \ud83d\udc94 #SmoothAssassin\u201d— R.A. the Rugged Man (@R.A. the Rugged Man) 1670946603
\u201cRIP 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.) \ud83d\udd4a\ufe0f\u201d— Dee Phunk (@Dee Phunk) 1670951016
\u201cdamn, man. RIP Grand Daddy I.U.\u201d— Saifullah \u0633\u064a\u0641 \u0627\u0644\u0644\u0647 (@Saifullah \u0633\u064a\u0641 \u0627\u0644\u0644\u0647) 1670951936
\u201cREST IN PEACE\nGRANDDADDY I.U.\nMET HIM A FEW YEARS BACK WITH MY BROTHER @RealJoeFatal \nDUDE WAS AN AMAZING MCEE & A GENTLEMAN.\u201d— DANNY DIABLO (@DANNY DIABLO) 1670951583
\u201cRest in paradise Smooth Assassin, Grand Daddy I.U..\u201d— Audio Consigliere (@Audio Consigliere) 1670946811
\u201cRIP Grand Daddy I.U. \ud83d\udd4a\n\nInitially signed to Cold Chillin Records in the late 80s, the MC & producer remained active in Hip Hop until his unexpected passing.\u201d— Ruben || Check the Rhyme (@Ruben || Check the Rhyme) 1670952582