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Christopher Wong Won (1964 - 2017)

Getty / FilmMagic / Jeff Kravitz

Christopher Wong Won (1964 - 2017)

Christopher Wong Won, aka Fresh Kid Ice, one of the co-founders of the Miami-based 2 Live Crew rap group, died Thursday, July 13, 2017, in a Miami hospital, according to multiple news sources. He was 53.

Won was widely considered one of the first major Asian rappers in the United States. He was also noted for being the only member of 2 Live Crew to appear on all of their albums until he left the group to relaunch Chinaman Records, Chinaman being his other nickname.

The group proved a source of contention with its songs that contained overt sexual themes, most notably on their 1989 album, “As Nasty As They Wanna Be.”

 


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Won was born May 29, 1964, in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. When he was 12, the family immigrated to the U.S., moving to Brooklyn, New York. After graduating high school in 1982, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, serving for four years.

Although 2 Live Crew is identified as part of the Miami hip-hop scene, the group’s genesis took place in California. Won joined David Hobbs, aka DJ Mr. Mixx, and Yuri Vielot, aka Amazing Vee, both of whom he met while serving in the Air Force. 2 Live Crew’s debut single, 1985’s “Revelation,” proved popular in Florida, so the troupe relocated to Miami. 

Vielot stayed behind, however, so 2 Live Crew added Mark Ross, aka Brother Marquis, who can be heard on the troupe’s follow-up single, “What I Like.” Miami rapper and record producer Luther Campbell, aka Luke Skyywalker, offered 2 Live Crew a recording contract. Campbell eventually managed the group and later became the lead vocalist.

In 1986, the group released the album “The 2 Live Crew Is What We Are.” Two years later, they released “Move Somethin’” and followed up that album with at least one album per year from 1989 to 1991. The crew’s last album, “The Real One,” was released in 1998.

Fresh Kid Ice also had an ear for fresh musical talent. He discovered the rapper Flo Rida.

Campbell took to social media to offer his condolences, tweeting that music fans have “lost a legend” in Won.

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