Children of the 90s shed a tear and pour out a sip of your beer for Chris "Mac Daddy" Kelly, one half of the kid rap duo Kris Kross. Kelly is the one in the Yankees jersey above, performing his hit song on the show In Living Color.
Kris Kross broke through with their 1992 single "Jump" when Kelly and Chris "Daddy Mac" Smith were just 13. They wore oversized, backwards clothes and their album "Totally Krossed Out" sold over 4 million copies in the U.S. They were on MTV every night when kids their age wouldn't know how many zeroes to put after 4 to make 4 million.
After two subsequent albums failed to catch America's hearts and ears the way Totally Krossed Out did, the duo split up.
Kelly died of an apparent drug overdose in his home on Wednesday. His mother and record label, So So Def, put out this joint statement:
“It is with deep sadness that we announce that our beloved Chris Kelly has passed away on May 1. To millions of fans worldwide, he was the trendsetting, backwards pants-wearing one-half of Kris Kross who loved making music. But to us, he was just Chris – the kind, generous and fun-loving life of the party. Though he was only with us a short time, we feel blessed to have been able to share some incredible moments with him. His legacy will live on through his music, and we will forever love him.”
— Donna Kelly Pratte (mother) & The So So Def Family
You would be hard pressed to find someone who can name a Kris Kross song other than Jump--they were a true one-hit wonder--but for a year, they had Americans everywhere wearing their clothes backwards and jumping on command.