2 Live Crew's Fresh Kid Ice on Getting Arrested "Just 'Cause the Album Was Deemed Obscene"
2 Live Crew's Fresh Kid Ice, waving hello.
Fresh Kid Ice is the only member of 2 Live Crew to appear on every 2 Live Crew album.
He's one of three founding members who got together in a dorm room at an Air Force base in Riverside, California, started rocking shows in Miami, moved permanently to the 305, and took sexplicit bass music around the world.
Now 2 Live Crew is back with a new album, Turn Me On, that features cameos by Trick Daddy, Trina, E-40, Too Short, Insane Clown Posse, and production from Pretty Tony and Mannie Fresh.
Here's what Fresh Kid Ice had to say about booty bass, performing on top of speakers, and getting arrested for making music.
Crossfade: Wasup, man. Talk about the new album
Fresh Kid Ice: The new album is called Turn Me On. It's produced by Pretty Tony, Mannie Fresh, Funk Boogie, and GC.
How do you guys know Mannie Fresh?
We been knew Mannie Fresh for years, shoot I guess since back in the 80's when he was with Greg D. They was signed to 4-Sight Records, one of the original Miami bass labels run by Billy Hines back in the day.
How'd You Come Up with that "Take It Off"
We were just messin around with a few things early in the project that kind of stood out and fit into the groove of what's happening today. It's a 2 Live Crew type record that we could come back in and be relevant with a concept that doesn't take away from the 2 Live Crew feel.
Wasup with the video for it?
We got a lot of cameos in there from Mannie Fresh, Flo Rida, Flavor Flav, Trick Daddy, and Trina. It's premiering on World Star.
How do you now all of them?
From a long time. Trick Daddy been around for a long time, hollering. Trina, we knew for some years as a young girl. Flo Rida, when I used to do a lot of solo stuff, he was a backup rapper and hype man for me. And Flava Flav, we knew from Public Enemy when they came down here a few times, like when we were on the Fresh Fest with LL Cool J and we hung out with Stetsasonic and stuff.
What did you, Flava Flav, Stetsasonic, and everybody all do when you met up in Miami?
We used to take them to the Pac Jam and used to ride around and talk about the industry. Basically, most rappers were on independent labels at the time, and radio didn't play a lot of rap, they only had one or two slots for rap artists and at the time they'd only really play Run DMC and the Beastie Boys. So everybody else had to start from the underground.
You and the Crew moved here from California, when did you first start coming to Miami, and when did you move here?
We were coming back and forth between 85' and 86', and we didn't move down till I got out of the military in 1986.
Fresh Kid Ice and Brother Marquis
You started out putting out your own stuff on Macola Records right?
Yeah, we had our own Fresh Beat Records distributed through Macola starting in June 1984 when I got to California from New York and hooked up with Mr. Mixx and Amazing Vee. We were doing our thing in the Air Force dorm room cutting and scratching and writing and recording our first record in Corona, California. We took it Macola where you would pay like $500 for the first batch of records, they would distribute them, and when the orders came back, they would press them as needed. And that's how we started.
From what I understand Henry Stone is the guy who first distributed and broke your records in Florida?
Yeah him and Don McMillian (owner of Macola) used to be friends. They used to hang out. I heard a lot of stories from them. I used to like to talk to the older heads and pick up game.
Henry Stone was a good guy. He distributed my first indiependent label Miami Bass Records with Fat Daddy, and Candy Fresh and Wink P, and little things I did on the side through Hot Productions.
See also: Miami's Top Ten Hip-Hop DJs of All Time
Were the Miami records making out to you on the Air Force base?
A lot of records, like Freestyle was big out in California, the Pretty Tony stuff, the dance records and so forth. The LA area is like Miami where they really got into the dance music. But LA is more like everybody wanna be a movie star, so that's why I like Miami way better.
So what were yo doing when you first came down here?
When I was still in the Air Force, we would fly down to do shows and that's how we befriended Luke, he brought us here to do shows over by 199th street and the 441, they used to call that the Pac Jam Skating Rink, back over where there's a Chilis now.
Paint the picture, what was that like?
It was different, there was no stages. We performed on top of the speakers and stuff like that. We'd go and do the records and fly back out to Cali on a red eye to make it back to work at 7:30 in the morning. I was a medic.
What were your records at that time?
"Revelation," and "2 Live," which everyone called "Beatbox." It was me and Mr. Mixx and Amazing Vee, and Vee wanted to do a different kind of music, more dance instead of rap, so the I was the only rapper for 2 Live Crew. When we came down to Miami doing shows in like '85 the throw the dick dance started coming to effect, so one night on the flight back to California I wrote "Throw The Dick" and "Ghetto Bass," brought the concept to Mixx and put it together. We incorporated that "Dance To The Drummer's Beat" to make it familiar with what was going on down here. We recorded at a 16 track studio in California and on that single, we brought Luke into the situation. That record only cost us like $246 to record for Luke Skyywalker Records, and look what happened.
What happened next?
The Youth Fair was going on and we performed and we wanted to break the record there. We brought Brother Marquis in and we wrote a couple new tracks and performed at the Youth Fair in 1986, and that's when we introduced Marquis to the group. And then after I got out of the military in 1986, that's when we moved to Miami.
Where'd you live?
We moved right by WEDR, which used to be called Starforce99 over there by 35th street and 15th Ave in Allapattah, and we were right there by 17th Ave by Jackson High. And that's when we started recording the album.
And that shit went Gold!
That went Gold just off street cred. Then the shows started getting wild cause on that album the lyrical content started getting explicit. Then we got into like "Get It Girl," and "We Want Some Pussy" and that took it past Gold. Then we brought the girls into the videos, and then we incorporated them into the shows and that was that.
Who were the girls you took on the road?
They were basically the video girls. We picked the two finest video girls so that they were familiar to the people.
Where'd you tour?
We used to do shows everywhere. And we toured with everybody, mostly groups out of New York, and a lot of them didn't respect 2 Live Crew cause they thought the South had nothing to offer, till they met us on stage going out battling hard. And that's why we're known for our shows and stage presence and earned our respect. We toured with Mantronics, Eric B and Rakim, T La Rock, Kurtis Blow, the Fat Boys
And you know, people fail to realize that Marquis is from Rochester, and I went to high school in Brooklyn, we came from the military in California, and made music in Miami , which is the city that embraced us, so we had to give it that respect.
Yeah, you don't have to be born here to be from here....
All my kids are from here, so it's all good. But that's one thing that made us different. Our rap styles were different, and we took the slang from here and incorporated it, and brought Miami to the world
Who came up with that Luke Skyywalker line that Uncle Luke took his name from?
That was my line in "Beatbox." "Whenever I rhyme, I am the boss. Like Luke Skywalker, I got the force."
What was your perspective on getting arrested for performing?
That night at Club Future in Hollywood? We knew there were a lof of police in the club and outside. We got off stage, Luke and myself got arrested, and then later Marquis turned himself in. Just for lyrics. Cause the album was deemed obscene.
We knew that we were gonna get arrested, but we also knew we'd get our day in court, and we knew that there's value to our music even though it's not what they wanted it to be. Our music is party music told in the way that guys and females talk behind closed doors. It's locker room talk, and we knew it was protected under the First Amendment.
Crossfade's Top Blogs
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Miami, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.