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Fresh Kid Ice, 2 Live Crew Rapper, Dies at 53

Miami hip-hop group fought an obscenity lawsuit that went all the way to Supreme Court

Fresh Kid Ice, a founding member of Miami rap group 2 Live Crew, which had the first album in history to be declared legally obscene, died Thursday at 53.

His death was announced by the group’s longtime leader, Luther “Uncle Luke” Campbell.

2 Live Crew is best known for its third album, 1989’s “As Nasty As They Wanna Be,” which featured eventual No. 1 single “Me So Horny.” In 1990, Judge Jose Gonzalez of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida ruled the album to be legally obscene, which made sales of the record illegal in several Florida counties.

That June, a record store owner was arrested for selling the album to an undercover cop, and a few days later, three 2 Live Crew members, including Ice and Campbell, were arrested following a performance in South Florida of some of the songs on the album that Gonzalez had deemed obscene.

Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. testified on behalf of 2 Live Crew during their subsequent trial in defense of the group’s lyrics, and the rappers ended up prevailing in the U.S. Court of Appeals  — which stood as the final verdict after the Supreme Court denied to hear an appeal from Florida’s Broward County. “As Nasty As They Wanna Be” ended up selling more than 2 million copies.

Ice, who’s real name is Christopher Wong Won, was born in Trinidad and was one of the first and most visible rappers of Asian descent. In addition to his work with 2 Live Crew, Ice released several solo albums, most notably his 1992 debut, “The Chinaman.”