Ice — whose real name was Chris Wong Won — died at 7:50 a.m. local time in Miami, Florida, on Thursday from an undisclosed medical condition, his manager said, declining to elaborate. Ice had previously suffered two strokes, one in 2008 and one in 2010.
The group’s Luther Campbell also confirmed the news on Twitter, writing, “My condolence goes out to the family Chris Wong Wong Fresh Kid Ice of the 2 Live Crew who just passed away people we lost a legend.”
Ice, widely recognized as the first prominent Asian rapper, was famously arrested in Florida for performing tracks from 2 Live Crew’s hit third album, As Nasty as They Wanna Be, in 1990 at a club. The album was dubbed legally obscene and the trial that followed made headlines and kicked off a national debate. Ice and bandmates Brother Marquis and Campbell were later acquitted.
After leaving the group, Ice went on to found his own label Chinaman Records., and is credited with discovering Flo Rida.
Many have taken to social media to pay tribute to Ice, with rapper Rick Ross writing, “Just got call we lost 2 Live crew legend Fresh Kid Ice this morning! RIP.”
Wrote Juicy J, “R.I.P. Fresh Kid Ice we lost another legend prayers up for his family.”