Grand Daddy I.U. has passed away at the age of 54. LL Cool JBusta RhymesMethod Man, and more all mourned the veteran rapper afterward on social media, Tuesday.

Grand Daddy I.U. was a leading artist on the iconic label Cold Chillin’ Records in the late 1980s. Before then, the late Biz Markie helped him get signed after hearing one of his demo tapes. His debut album, Smooth Assassin, later helped him land several songs on the charts, including “Something New” and “Sugar Free.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK–MARCH 10: Rapper Grand Daddy I.U. (aka Ayub Bey) and his crew appears in a portrait taken on March 10, 1994 in New York City. (Photo by Al Pereira/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

In addition to his own music, Grand Daddy I.U. also produced for Das EFX, Heltah Skeltah, KRS-One, Ice-T, and others.

According to TMZ, the Queens-born rapper died peacefully in his sleep; however, the outlet did not confirm a cause of death.

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As for the reaction to his passing, several popular voices in the hip-hop community shared tributes for him during posts on social media.


“Rest in power King. HipHop was in your DNA. @granddaddy_iu Thank You for your contribution,” LL Cool J also wrote in a post on Instagram.

Method Man commented on LL Cool J’s post: “Long Island Legend … rest in power King.”

In addition, Busta Rhymes wrote: “Waking up to this crazy, RIP ALMIGHTY GDIU!!”

As noted by AllHipHop, N.O.R.E. listed I.U. in his list of top five rappers dead or alive back in 2008.

“Grand Daddy I.U. was one of the most lyrical, wordplay-having emcees,” he said at the time. “Young artists like Murda Mook… they don’t understand a lot of their style was fathered by Grand Daddy I.U.”

Check out some of the responses to Grand Daddy I.U.’s passing below as well as his song, “Something New.”