2 Live Crew’s Fresh Kid Ice Has Died At Age 53
After more than 34 years in Hip-Hop, 2 Live Crew founding member and author Fresh Kid Ice died yesterday morning (July 12) in Miami, Florida. The MC and artist born Christopher Wong Won was 53 years old at the time of his death. TMZ confirmed the news after speaking with Ice’s management. In addition to his longstanding contributions to 2 Live Crew, Fresh Kid Ice (who also used the performance name “Chinaman” had a lengthy solo career for Lil Joe Records. He is regarded as one of Hip-Hop’s first commercially successful and mainstream recognized Asian MCs.
“When we first started, a lot of people didn’t know I was Asian,” he told Vice in 2016.”But when the videos came out, it basically crossed the group over. Other people could be like, ‘Damn, that could be me. I didn’t know an Asian dude was rapping like that!'” Wong wrote a lot about being ostracized as a youth due to his heritage in his memoir My Rise 2 Fame. In that text, he addressed some of 2 Live Crew’s more salacious events as well.
A native of the island of Port of Spain, Trinidad, Fresh Kid Ice grew up in Brooklyn, New York. Moving west, he was eventually part of 2 Live Crew’s California beginnings, forming the group with Mr. Mixx and Amazing Vee in 1984.
In 1985, Uncle Luke booked the Fresh Beat Records group to perform in South Florida. Following that meeting, Luke (aka Luther Campbell) joined 2 Live Crew. Brother Marquis, another Cali-based MC, would also be invited into the expanding group. The independent “Booty Bass” pioneers would soon relocate to Miami, where they helped popularize a brand of Hip-Hop blending Rap and Bass music.
For the last 30 years, Fresh Kid Ice’s health was challenging. In 1988, he survived a car accident that would affect his mobility after that. In 2009 and 2010 respectively, Wong also reportedly suffered two strokes.
Wong was with the group for its pinnacle, which includes a platinum album and four gold others. He rapped on both of 2.L.C.’s Top 40 hits, 1989’s “Me So Horny” and the lead verse on 1990’s “Banned In The U.S.A.” This was a controversial run for the group, whose members (including Chris) would be arrested on obscenity charges. Especially in regards to content dealing with sexuality, 2 Live Crew were pioneers to Rap artists including Snoop Dogg, Devin The Dude, Necro, and U.G.K.
He is also credited with being an early mentor to Flo Rida, who extensively appeared on Ice’s 2004 Freaky Chinese album. The would-be Atlantic Records hit-maker toured extensively with the vet. He launched and operated his own Chinaman imprint.
One month ago, The Los Angeles Times reported that Lionsgate was developing a 2 Live Crew biopic. That comes as other 1980s Hip-Hop acts such as N.W.A. and Roxanne Shanté have become theatrical film subjects.
Ambrosia For Heads extends condolences to 2 Live Crew, as well as the family, friends, and fans of Fresh Kid Ice.