1990s rapper Fresh Kid Ice has died today aged 53, according to reports in America.
The 2 Live Crew rapper, real name Christopher Wong Won, passed away of an undisclosed condition in Miami.
Former band mate, Luther Campbell tweeted:
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"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". “He always kept a smile on his face, he loved his kids,” said Campbell. “He loved this community even though he was from New York. He was just a lovable, happy guy. We were one of the first groups in Miami to start southern hip-hop. I mean, everybody takes claim to it, we started southern hip-hop and Chris was the first rapper on bass music.”
Luther further stated
“I would like to say that I love him and extend my condolences to his family. He truly loved all of his fans,” Brother Marquis said. “I’ll always remember and cherish all of the good times we had together and all of the history we made. I would like to express my true love for him.”
“We were military brothers, and we were brothers in making music,” DJ Mr. Mixx told Vibe. “We changed the world. We had a lot of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that happened for the best of us. I hope that he rests in peace and God has mercy on his soul. We were definitely good for the music industry. We changed a lot of things. I hope that everybody gets this, and respects the fact that if you have somebody close to you that’s significant, let them know that they are significant.”
2 Live Crew faced boycotts and obscenity charges after the release of their 1989 album “As Nasty As They Wanna Be”
He was a pioneer for Asian rappers and formed the famous hip-hop crew with DJ Mr Mixx and Amazing Vee in 1984, later hooking up with Campbell and signing with his record label.
2 Live Crew rose out of the South Florida rap scene in the late 1980s and quickly garnered attention with semi-pornographic lyrics and cover artwork, particularly with 1989's As Nasty As They Wanna Be.
Fresh Kid Ice and and the group became poster children for First Amendment Rights after the album was the first ever to be labeled legally obscene by the government.
While hardly groundbreaking musically, the album propelled the group into the center of a heated of controversy over the lyrics to songs like "Me So H-rny" and "The F-- Shop."
He and Campbell were arrested in 1990 after a live performance that police deemed to be obscene and lewd.
Fresh Kid Ice is considered the first rapper of Asian decent to rise to mainstream prominence. With 2 Live Crew, he helped bring Miami’s regional hip-hop scene to national radio. Known for their sexually explicit lyrics, 2 Live Crew’s 1989 album As Nasty As They Wanna Be gained notoriety for being banned from southern Florida retailers after being declared legally obscene. The court’s ruling was overturned two years later, cementing 2 Live Crew in to history case law.
The rapper also spent time in the armed forces, serving four years in the US Air Force before getting into music.
Campbell left the group acrimoniously in the 1990s, although Fresh Kid Ice carried on and was the only member to have appeared on all of 2 Live Crew's albums.
Later in his career, he formed his own label, Chinaman Records.
The Chinaman was the first solo album by Fresh Kid Ice. It was released in 1992 by Effect Records, a division of Luke Records. Singles that were released to promote the album were D--k 'Em Down, I'll be there, and Freak 'Em Down (the clean version of D--k 'Em Down which wasn't featured in the album). Freak 'Em Down was turned into a video clip. The album is noted for being the first Hip Hop album embracing having an Asian Heritage. With songs like "Long Dick Chinese", he inverted stereotypes into prideful declarations of self-identity, he showed there was a way for Asians to exist in hip-hop.
One thing that most people don't know is that Fresh Kid Ice discovered the popular hip-hop artist Flo Rida.
Ice leaves behind a legacy that will endure through the ages as it changed the limitations placed upon music of all kinds.