Music News: 2 Live Crew's Fresh Kid Ice dies at 53


Detail of the cover of 2 Live Crew's 1986 debut album
Detail of the cover of 2 Live Crew's 1986 debut album (Luke Skywalker Records)

Rapper Fresh Kid Ice has died of an undisclosed medical condition at age 53. Fresh Kid Ice, born Chris Wong Won, was a founding member of 2 Live Crew and one of the first Asian-Americans to become a hip-hop star.

With bandmate Luther Campbell, Fresh Kid Ice was at the forefront of the culture wars over infamous 2 Live Crew albums like As Nasty As They Wanna Be (1989) and Banned in the U.S.A. (1990) — the latter of which was the first album ever to feature the "Parental Advisory" label.

After 2 Live Crew released their last album in 1998, Fresh Kid Ice launched a solo career and became a hip-hop tastemaker; he's credited with discovering the pop rap star Flo Rida. (Consequence of Sound)

Is SoundCloud on the rocks?

Is time running short for SoundCloud? Very possibly, according to a TechCrunch article that became the buzz of the music world by reporting that the creator-focused streaming service currently only has enough money to stay in operation for another 80 days — even after laying off 40% of its staff last week. SoundCloud responded by saying the article had "a number of inaccuracies" and was based on "a misinterpretation of information." TechCrunch is standing by its reporting. (Variety)

But don't worry...

Emmy noms for Chance, Gaga, more

This year's Emmy nominations were announced Thursday. Among the music-world honorees were Lady Gaga, whose Super Bowl halftime show received six nominations; Common, who was nominated for "Letter to the Free" from the show 13th; Tony Bennett, whose 90th-birthday special earned two nominations; and Chance the Rapper, whose Run-DMC parody "Last Christmas" (a.k.a. "Jingle Barack") from Saturday Night Live was nominated for Outstanding Music and Lyrics.

Prince estate's deal with Universal voided

A massive distribution deal between Universal Music and the Prince estate has been voided, after Universal argued it had been mislead regarding the terms of a conflicting deal Prince made with Warner Bros. before his death. In what the New York Times describes as "a turn of events that has stunned the industry," Universal will get $31 million dollars back — and distribution rights for Prince's later catalog, as well as rights for his earlier catalog once the Warner Bros. deal runs out, will presumably go back up for sale.

Today's Radiohead news

The nerdiest Easter egg ever: Radiohead hid a greeting to fans on a cassette that comes in the boxed set of their OK Computer reissue OKNOTOK. To read the message, you have to play two minutes of computer tones from the cassette into an eight-bit computer from the '80s called the ZX Spectrum. The tones translate into a code that contains the band members' names and the words "with all our love." (Pitchfork)

Meanwhile, the band's Ed O'Brien is becoming the first member of Radiohead to endorse a signature guitar. The EOB Sustainer Stratocaster is named for its Fernandes Sustainer pickup, the type favored by O'Brien. He's been playing one of the new Strats on tour, so the model indeed seems indeed to be EOB-approved. (Pitchfork)

Billy Corgan selling Smashing Pumpkins gear

Over 100 guitars, amps, and other pieces of equipment used on Smashing Pumpkins albums including classics like Siamese Dream and Melon Collie and the Infinite Sadness are going up for sale starting on Aug. 16. The seller? Billy Corgan himself, who's sharing the stories behind the piece of gear but hasn't explained why he's selling. Just cleaning out the studio, maybe? The equipment will be sold via the online gear store Reverb, and prices are TBD. (Rolling Stone)

Arcade Fire cover Lorde

Arcade Fire recently visited the BBC Live Lounge to play a session, and along with material from their forthcoming album Everything Now, they played a cover of Lorde’s "Green Light." Règine Chassagne sings lead on Arcade Fire's version, which also features a youth choir. (Billboard)

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