Fresh Kid Ice Dies; 2 Live Crew Rapper Was 53
Sad news out of the music world today, as TMZ is reporting that pioneering rapper Fresh Kid Ice has passed away at the age of 53.
According to the group’s manager the emcee passed away at a Miami-area hospital early this morning.
No cause of death was given.
Fresh Kid, born Chris Wong Won, was a founding member of the controversial group 2 Live Crew.
Along with DJ Mr. Mixx and Amazing Vee, Won started the collective in 1984.
They quickly notched a number of hits, and their 1989 Nasty As They Want to Be album brought the group international fame.
The record also made unlikely First Amendment crusaders of the members of Crew.
A federal district judge ruled the album obscene due to its graphic lyrics, and outlawed it in certain parts of Florida.
Along with the rest of the group, Won was arrested in Broward County in 1990 for performing songs from the album at a local sex club.
The arrest and media hype that surrounded it brought even more attention to Crew, and they were eventually vindicated both in an obscenity trial and in the court of public opinion.
While his rap career may have peaked with Nasty As They Want to Be, Won remained active in the industry until the time of his death.
He released several solo albums, the most recent of which came out earlier this yeat.
Won also launched his own label, Chinaman Records.
Widely considered to be the most accomplished rapper of Asian descent in the history of hip hop, Won was regarded by many as one as a true pioneer of the genre.
Won struggled with a number of health issues throughout his life, many stemming from a 1988 car accident and a 2009 stroke that cost him mobility in his left arm.
Moments ago, his fellow rapper and collaborator Luther “Uncle Luke” Campbell tweeted a tribute to Won, writing:
My Condolence goes out to the family Chris Wong Wong Fresh Kid Ice of the 2 Live Crew who just passed away people we lost a legend