By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. July 14, 2017: The music industry has lost another major talent – this time the Caribbean-born founding member of the rap group, 2 Live Crew, which shot to fame with the provocative sexual themes in their work back in the 1980s.
Fresh Kid Ice, born Chris Wong Won, died in a Miami, Florida hospital yesterday, July 13, 2017. He was 53.
BORN IN TRINIDAD
Fresh Kid Ice, also known as The Chinaman, was born in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. His family is of Trinidadian and Chinese descent.
At the age of 12 he moved from Trinidad & Tobago to Brooklyn, New York. In 1982 he graduated from Samuel J. Tilden High School, and that summer he joined the U.S. Air Force for a four-year stint.
While stationed at March Air Force Base in Riverside, California, in 1984, he met fellow musicians Amazing Vee and DJ Mr. Mixx and they went on to form the Hip-Hop group, 2 Live Crew. The group actually got their start in California and released its first single, “Revelation” in 1985.
“Revelation” became popular in Florida, so The 2 Live Crew, without Amazing Vee, relocated to Miami. Rapper Brother Marquis (Mark Ross) joined The 2 Live Crew for its next single “What I Like” While local rapper Luke Skyywalker gave group a record deal and worked as the group’s manager and then lead vocalist.
The group’s debut album, ‘The 2 Live Crew Is What We Are,’ was released in 1986 with sexually explicit tracks such as “We Want Some Pussy” and “Throw the ‘D'” and reached gold certified status by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Their second album, ‘Move Somethin,’ was released in 1988 and was also certified Gold with the singles “Move Somethin'” and “Do Wah Diddy Diddy.”
However, shortly before the release of Move Somethin’ in 1988, Fresh Kid Ice was in a near fatal car accident. His injuries included injuries to his brachial plexus, which resulted in a loss of mobility in his left arm.
The group went on to release their third album, ‘As Nasty As They Wanna Be,’ in 1989 and it became the most successful album due to the single “Me So Horny.” It sold over two million copies and peaked at number 29 on the Billboard 200 and number 3 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
The group went on to release four other albums including ‘Banned in the U.S.A.,’ ‘Live in Concert,’ ‘Sports Weekend: As Nasty As They Wanna Be, Pt. 2,’ ‘Shake a Lil’ Somethin’ and ‘The Real One.’
FRESH KID ICE’S DEPARTURE
Fresh Kid Ice left the group after Shake a Lil’ Somethin’ and went on to record ‘The Chinaman, his first solo album that included singles like ‘Dick ‘Em Down, I’ll be there,’ and ‘Long Dick Chinese,’ a reference to his Afro-Chinese roots. The album is noted for being the first Hip Hop album embracing having an Asian Heritage.
‘Still Nasty’ was released in 2000 under his own label Chinaman Records with the main single for this album being “I Wanna Dance Yall’.”
Fresh Kid Ice suffered his first stroke on Thanksgiving 2009, followed by a second stroke early 2010 and had to retrain himself to walk and correct his speech. Still, earlier this year, he released a Mixtape on his Label with artists like Chilly Chill and JT Money.
Yesterday, on Twitter, Luther Campbell posted condolences to Fresh Kid Ice’s family noting: “ …we lost a legend.”