Fresh Kid Ice, a founding member of the Miami hip hop group 2 Live Crew, has died at 53.
Fresh Kid Ice formed the legendary hip-hop crew with DJ Mr. Mixx and Amazing Vee in 1984, and hooked up with Luther Campbell later when they signed with his record label.
Fresh Kid’s real name was Chris Wong Won, Live Crew’s longtime manager Debo confirmed Wong Won’s death. He died in a Miami hospital after suffering an undisclosed medical condition.
Fresh Kid served in the U.S. Air Force for 4 years before getting into music. He went on to form his own label Chinaman Records. Fresh Kid Ice and the group 2 Live Crew became poster children for First Amendment Rights after their “As Nasty As They Wanna Be” album was the first to be labeled legally obscene by the government. While Fresh Kid Ice continued to record with 2 Live Crew, he released his debut solo album, The Chinaman, in 1992. Born in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Wong Won’s family was of Trinidadian and Chinese descent, and Fresh Kid Ice is often credited with being the first prominent Asian rapper.
In 2015, Fresh Kid Ice released his memoir”My Rise 2 Fame”: The Tell All Autobiography of a Hip Hop Legend. In an interview with Vice last year, he described the current state of Asian representation in rap. “The Asians were there in the beginning of hip-hop — but as DJs,” he said. “We’ve been in the background and stayed behind the scenes, but we learn from our mistakes. A lot of people see us as being passive, but sometimes being passive means that you’re learning. Right now, I see us right there with everyone else. (An Asian rapper) has to just come along and do it big.”
Fellow 2 Live Crew member Luther “Uncle Luke” Campbell wrote on Twitter, “My condolence goes out to the family Chris Wong Won Fresh Kid Ice of the 2 Live Crew who just passed away people we lost a legend.”
Souce: usatoday.com, rollingstone.com, tmz.com