Kelcie Willis, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
One of the founding members of the hip-hop group 2 Live Crew has died.
USA Today reported that the group’s manager, DJ Debo said Fresh Kid Ice died at age 53 on Thursday. Details on the cause of death were not provided, but MTV reported that it was an undisclosed medical condition.
The pioneering rapper, whose birth name was Chris Wong Won, had a stroke in 2008 and 2010, according to MTV.
Won has been credited as the first prominent Asian rapper. Of Trinidadian and Chinese descent, he formed 2 Live Crew with DJ Mr. Mixx and Amazing Vee in the 1980s while stationed in California in the U.S. Air Force, according to Vibe. Vee left the group early on and Mixx and Won relocated to Miami. Brother Marquis and Uncle Luke joined the group, which is credited as being pioneers of the Miami bass genre of hip-hop music.
The group gained mainstream attention for its sexual content and lyrics, winning two Supreme Court cases to parody work and create explicit music. The latter paved the way for the parental advisory label seen on albums today. It was first on the group’s fourth album, 1990’s “Banned in the U.S.A.” The group’s third album, 1989’s “As Nasty As They Wanna Be,” led the group to be sued by the state of Florida
“We were military brothers, and we were brothers in making music,” Mixx told Vibe. “We changed the world. We had a lot of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that happened for the best of us. I hope that he rests in peace and God has mercy on his soul. We were definitely good for the music industry. We changed a lot of things. I hope that everybody gets this, and respects the fact that if you have somebody close to you that’s significant, let them know that they are significant.”
“I would like to say that I love him and extend my condolences to his family. He truly loved all of his fans,” Brother Marquis said. “I’ll always remember and cherish all of the good times we had together and all of the history we made. I would like to express my true love for him.”