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Passings: Chris Wong Won (aka Fresh Kid Ice) of 2 Live Crew (1964 - 2017)

by VVN Music

Chris Wong Won, who was known as Fresh Kid Ice as a member of the band 2 Live Crew, died earlier today (July 13) in a Miami hospital at the age of 53. He had suffered from a number medical problems over the years including strokes in 2009 and 2010.

Born in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, he moved to Brooklyn with his family at the age of 12 and graduated from Samuel J. Tilden High School in 1982.

While serving a four-year stint in the Air Force, he met Yuri Vielot, who would become the Amazing Vee, and the future DJ Mr. Mixx, David Hobbs. After getting out of the service, the three started looking for a way to make their way in the music world.

Their first single, Revelation, was released in 1985 while they were still in California. When it was decided that they would relocate to Miami, Amazing Vee dropped out of the group and was replaced by Mark Ross, aka Brother Marquis. Their second single, What I Like, got them noticed by Luther Campbell, who was known at the time as Luke Skyywalker, who got them a record deal and managed their affairs.  Eventually, he would take over lead for the band.

While 2 Live Crew was yet to have a charting single, their debut album, The 2 Live Crew is What We Are (1986), built their reputation of creating raps with overly sexualized lyrics, pushing the album to 128 on the Billboard 200 and 24 on the R&B Albums.

Their second album, Move Somethin' (1987 / #68 Pop / #20 R&B), finally gave them a couple of minor hits; however, Won was not able to enjoy the success as, right before the album was released, he was in a near fatal car accident which caused him to lose the use of his left arm.

1989's Nasty As They Wanna Be took them to the top. The album went to 29 on the Pop Albums and 3 in R&B and spawned the hits Me So Horny (1989 / #26 Pop / #34 R&B / #1 Rap), C'mon Babe (1989 / #7 Rap) and The Fuck Shop (1990 / #14 Rap).

Nasty also became the focus of a legal challenge that led to the U.S. district court ruling that the album was obscene and illegal to sell. Two days after the ruling, a record store owner was arrested for selling the album to an undercover officer and the three members of the group were also arrested during a performance in Hollywood, FL. Eventually, with support from many advocates, the arrests were overturned and, in 1992, the U.S. Court of Appeals overturned the obscenity ruling and the Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

Their fourth album, Banned in the U.S.A. was actually their highest charting on the Billboard 200, going to 21 in 1990, but has been outsold by Nasty over the years. The title song also became their biggest pop hit, going to number 20 on the Hot 100, 13 on R&B and 1 on the Rap Singles. Banned also has the honor of being the first album to have the now standard Parental Advisory sticker on the front.

Fresh Kid Ice released his first solo album, The Chinaman, while still a member of 2 Live Crew and was the first Hip Hop album that addressed an Asian heritage. He left the band after the release of their seventh album, Shake a Lil' Somethin', in 1996, choosing to pursue his solo career. He later released Still Nasty (2000), Stop Playin' (2004) and Freaky Chinese, which included his hype man and back-up rapper Flo Rida.

On Thanksgiving 2009, Won suffered a stroke and had a second the next year which left him needing to relearn to walk and talk.