Chris Wong Won, better known as Fresh Kid Ice, founding member of the controversial Miami-based rap group 2 Live Crew, died Thursday morning in a Miami hospital due to an undisclosed medical condition, according to the group's manager. Miami rapper and record producer Luther Campbell, aka Luke Skyywalker, offered 2 Live Crew a recording contract. Fittingly, he added, "We lost a legend". Even before the controversy over As Nasty As they Wanna Be, authorities were cracking down on record store clerks for selling 2 Live Crew albums, although the charges never stuck.
A native of the island of Port of Spain, Trinidad, Fresh Kid Ice grew up in Brooklyn, New York.
Fresh Kid Ice formed 2 Live Crew in 1984 with DJ Mr. Mixx and Amazing Vee. The Supreme Court eventually sided with Campbell and 2 Live Crew in 1992. He is regarded as one of Hip-Hop's first commercially successful and mainstream recognized Asian MCs. Other people could be like, 'Damn, that could be me.
In 2015, Fresh Kid Ice released a memoir, My Rise 2 Fame: The Tell All Autobiography of a Hip Hop Legend.
In 1985, Uncle Luke booked the Fresh Beat Records group to perform in South Florida.
Fresh Kid Ice, 2 Live Crew Co-Founder, Dies at 53
The group disbanded after their 1998 album, The Real One, but Won continued to release music as a solo artist.
Fresh Kid served in the U.S. Air Force for four years before getting out and delving full time into music. "I didn't know an Asian dude was rapping like that!'"
He is also credited with being an early mentor to Flo Rida, who extensively appeared on Ice's 2004 Freaky Chinese album.
'The Asians were there in the beginning of hip-hop - but as DJs, ' he said.