Fresh Kid Ice, a founding member of Hip Hop group 2 Live Crew, has passed away at the age of 53.
Per the group’s manager, he died in a Miami hospital at 7:50 a.m. this morning due to a medical condition. It is no known what that condition is at this time.
Founded in 1983, the controversial 2 Live Crew originally consisted of Kid Ice, DJ Mr. Mixx and Amazing Vee. Luther Campbell, better known as Uncle Luke or Luke Skyywalker, didn’t join the group until after they were already established as a California Hip Hop crew. But he was a member on 2 Live Crew’s 1986 debut album, The 2 Live Crew Is What We Are.
Kid Ice’s real name was Christopher Wong Won. He was long considered a pioneer for Asian rappers. He would routinely go by the moniker “The Chinaman,” after his 1992 debut solo album of the same name.
2 Live Crew earned notoriety for its sexually explicit lyrical style on classic albums such as 1989’s As Nasty As They Want To Be, which became the first album declared legally obscene in the U.S. Subsequently, the group relesed Banned In The U.S.A. in 1990 in response.
In 1994, the writers of Roy Orbison’s 1965 song “Oh, Pretty Woman” took 2 Live Crew to Supreme Court after the group sampled the song for its As Clean As They Want To Be. A judge ruled in 2 Live Crew’s favor and deemed the parody was fair use.
Kid Ice is the lone member of 2 Live Crew to appear on all eight of its studio albums.