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Hip-Hop World Laments Losing "Legend" - 2 Live Crew's Fresh Kid Ice Passes Away

Chris Wong Won, better known as rapper Fresh Kid Ice, died on Thursday in a Miami hospital of an undisclosed condition. The 53-year-old has been celebrated as an Asian rap pioneer. His bandmates and fellow rap musicians have expressed their dismay on social media.

Fresh Kid Ice was born to parents of Trinidadian and Cantonese descent in the Port of Spain. His family migrated to Brooklyn when he was 12 years old, and the future rap star went on to serve in the United States Air Force after he graduated high school.

It was while Ice was stationed in Riverside that he helped form the rap trio '2 Live Crew' in the early 1980s. Fellow reserve men David “Mr. Mixx” Hobbs and Yuri “Amazing Vee” Vielot were the other two-thirds of the group.

The rap group released its first single in 1985, entitled 'Revelation'. The upbeat electro-rap song with a heavy base was what landed them a record deal. The song caught on in the Miami rap scene and soon after they put out their first album, 'The 2 Live Crew Is What We Are'.

The group's sexually explicit lyrics caused great controversy at the time, and mostly received attention through word-of-mouth. It wasn't until their second album, 'Move Somethin', that the crew hit mainstream music charts. The group's third album in 1989, 'As Nasty As They Wanna Be', was their biggest success. It also pushed the envelope further than any music ever had before, with even some states threatening to arrest record store owners for selling the album.

Ice and the crew were even arrested in Florida for performing tracks from the album at a club in the 1990s. The case went all the way up to the Supreme Court, and 2 Live Crew members were acquitted. The ruling, however, led to ‘parent advisory labels’ being placed on music deemed to have violent or sexual lyrics that are too explicit.

Ice left 2 Live Crew in the 1990s and went on to found Chinaman Records. One of the most famous performers he discovered is Flo Rida.

His health was reportedly suffering for some time. Ice had previously suffered from strokes in 2008 and in 2010.

Upon news of Ice's death, bandmate Luther Campbell tweeted, “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.”

"Dam! Just got call we lost 2 Live crew legend Fresh Kid Ice this morning! RIP," tweeted Yung Renzel.

"My condolences to the Fresh Kid Ice family," tweeted Jermaine Dupri.

"R.I.P. Fresh Kid Ice we lost another legend prayers up for his family," said Juicy J in a tweet.

“#Another sad day in hip hop R.I .P China man from 2 Live crew We gonna miss DA Homeey I had a lotta fun wit you my dude,” read a tweet by Flavor Flav.

Source: People, CNN
Photo: YouTube

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