2 Live Crew's Fresh Kid Ice dies at 53

Christopher Wong Won was a founding member of the groundbreaking, controversial rap group.

Christopher Wong Won, aka Fresh Kid Ice, a founding member of the groundbreaking, controversial rap group 2 Live Crew and one of the first high-profile Asian American rappers, has died. He was 53.

2 Live Crew Rapper Fresh Kid Ice Dies at 53

Won died of an undisclosed medical condition in a Miami hospital on Tuesday, according to his longtime manager Debo. 2 Live Crew's former frontman Luther Campbell, aka Uncle Luke, aka Luke Skyywalker, tweeted his condolences on Thursday morning, calling Fresh Kid Ice "a legend."

Born to Trinidadian and Cantonese parents, Won formed 2 Live Crew with David "Mr. Mixx" Hobbs and Yuri "Amazing Vee" Vielot while serving in the Air Force in 1984. The group later joined with Campbell when they signed with his record label, and released their debut album The 2 Live Crew Is What We Are in 1986.

With songs like "Me So Horny" and "We Want Some Pussy," they weren't necessarily the most refined act in hip hop. And yes, you can partially blame 2 Live Crew's "Me So Horny" for popularizing the phrase "Me love you long time" after sampling a line dialogue spoken by a Vietnamese sex worker in the 1987 film Full Metal Jacket.

But the Miami-based group, known for their raunchy, sexually explicit aesthetic, became a national lightning rod over the issue of censorship -- and unlikely poster boys for free speech.

In 1990, Fresh and Luke were arrested after police deemed one of their live performances lewd and obscene. Their third album, As Nasty As They Wanna Be, was the first in history to be labeled legally obscene in federal court, making it illegal for retailers in south Florida to sell the record. Despite the controversy, the album went double platinum and reached No. 3 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums Billboard chart.

While Won continued to record with 2 Live Crew, he released his debut solo album The Chinaman, in 1992. (Keeping with the, ahem, aesthetic spirit of his previous work with 2 Live Crew, the album includes tracks like "Dick 'Em Down," "Pussy Ain't Shit" and my favorite, "Long Dick Chinese.")

Despite various lineup changes through the 1990s, Fresh Kid Ice is the only member to have appeared on all of 2 Live Crew's albums before the group officially split in 1998. He continued to perform as a solo artist and launched his own label, Chinaman Records. (Yeahhhh, I know.)

Last year, Won published his memoir, My Rise 2 Fame: The Tell All Autobiography of a Hip Hop Legend.

More here: 2 Live Crew Co-Founder Fresh Kid Ice Dead at 53

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