TMZ reports that 2 Live Crew rapper and co-founder Fresh Kid Ice has died. He passed away this morning at a Miami hospital, where he was being treated for an undisclosed illness. He was 53.
Born Christopher Wong Won in Trinidad and Tobago, Fresh Kid Ice grew up in Queens and served four years in the Air Force. Along with DJ Mr. Mixx and rapper Amazing Vee, Fresh Kid Ice formed 2 Live Crew in Riverside, California. Without Amazing Vee, Mr. Mixx and Fresh Kid Ice soon relocated to Miami, where their debut single “Revelation” was gaining popularity. Brother Marquis and eventual frontman Luke Skyywalker joined the group, and they went onto release a string of supremely horny party anthems, setting the stage for Miami bass music and for Southern rap in general. And Fresh Kid Ice, it should be noted, was the first Asian American rapper to gain any sort of national prominence.
2 Live Crew’s third album, 1989’s Nasty As They Wanna Be, went double platinum and spawned a few huge national hits. It also got the group into trouble when Florida authorities ruled the album obscene. The group took its freedom-of-speech battle all the way to the Supreme Court, and they won.
Fresh Kid Ice released his solo debut The Chinaman in 1992 and founded his own label Chinaman Records in 2000. Flo Rida served as his hypeman for a while. Fresh Kid Ice was a freak in heat, a dog without warning. Watch some of his work below.