Earlier this morning (July 13), Christopher “Fresh Kid Ice” Wong Won died from health complications in a Miami hospital at the age of 53. Though Ice suffered from medical issues over the years, his 2 Live Crew brethren Brother Marquis and DJ Mr. Mixx kept the group alive as they created new music and toured throughout the country. Miami icons like Trick Daddy, DJ Khaled, and Uncle Luke himself issued thoughts and prayers for Won on Twitter this morning.
“I just got the word that my long time friend and rap legend Fresh Kid Ice the Chinaman has passed away,” Brother Marquis told VIBE. “I would like to say that I love him and extend my condolences to his family. He truly loved all of his fans. 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.”
Before Marquis and Uncle Luke joined 2 Live Crew, Won had formed the group in the mid ’80s with DJ Mr. Mixx while they were stationed together in California during his time in the U.S. Air Force. Mixx and former member Amazing Vee released the group’s first single “Revelation” in 1984, which instantly gained popularity in Florida. Although Vee left early on, Won and Mixx relocated to Miami and eventually gave birth to the Miami Bass movement with their music.
“We were military brothers, and we were brothers in making music,” DJ Mr. Mixx tells 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.”
After 2 Live Crew released their Move Somethin’ album in 1988, the Miami Bass pioneer was involved in a serious car accident, which injured his brachial plexus and caused him to lose all movement in his left arm. Nearly two decades after his horrific accident, Won suffered a stroke in 2009 and another one in 2010. He survived, but he had to learn how to walk again and correct his speech. At press time, it was unknown whether his past ailments played a role in his death.
“Joseph Weinberger and the Lil’ Joe Records / 2 Live Crew Enterprises family extend their deepest condolences to the family of Christopher Wong Won,” Joseph “Lil Joe” Weinberger said in a statement provided by Abebe Lewis Branding and Marketing Group. “Hip-hop has lost a legend. No one was more passionate than the dominating Fresh Kid Ice. RIP. You will be missed.”
Recently, reports surfaced that Lionsgate would spearhead the official 2 Live Crew biopic. Hopefully, Chinaman’s legacy will be able to thrive on the big screen in the near future.
RIP Fresh Kid Ice.
This article originally appeared on Vibe.