Chris Kelly of Rap Duo Kriss Kross Dead at 34

May 2nd, 2013 by Staff

(www.abcnews.go.com) Chris Kelly, one half of the 90s rap duo “Kriss Kross” has died, Georgia authorities said.

Clint Harbin, an investigator with the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office told ABC News Radio that Kelly, 34, was pronounced dead Wednesday night at the Atlanta Medical Center.

Authorities are investigating the circumstances surrounding his death and an autopsy is expected to be performed later today.

Kelly (known as “Mac Daddy”), along with Chris “Daddy Mac” Smith, the backward-pants-wearing mini-rappers rose to fame with their song “Jump” from their 1992 album, “Totally Krossed Out.”

“Jump” hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and remained there for eight weeks.

Kelly and Smith were discovered by music producer and rapper Jermaine Dupri in an Atlanta mall. When “Totally Krossed Out” was released, Kelly was 13 years old. The album went on to multiplatinum status thanks to “Jump,” which remained a popular song throughout 1992.

They toured with Michael Jackson later that year during his “Dangerous World Tour.”

Their gimmick of wearing clothes backward won over legions of fans and allowed the duo to cross over into mainstream success. They even went on to release their own video game titled “Kris Kross: Make My Video” for the Sega CD console.

They released “Da Bomb” in 1993, which was not able to match the success of their prior album. One of the singles off the album, also titled “Da Bomb,” featured female rapper Da Brat.

The group’s last album, “Young, Rich & Dangerous,” was released in 1996 and reached gold status.

Earlier this year, the group performed together in Atlanta to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Dupri’s label, So So Def.

Yahoo! Music Writer Billy Johnson, Jr. interviewed Kelly in February.

“He actually was still working on music and recording. He said he had several hundred songs that he had recorded and he had mentioned that during his time away from releasing music that he had actually gone back to school to learn how to be a studio engineer,” Johnson said, according to ABC News Radio.

Johnson also discussed questions about Kelly’s health after pictures surfaced online with patches of his hair missing.

“I asked him about that and he said he had skin disease called alopecia and he said that those rumors had been very hurtful because people thought he had cancer and it wasn’t true,” Johnson said.

Rapper LL Cool J tweeted a link to his new song, “Jump on It,” and dedicated it to Kelly.

“R.I.P Chris Kelly. This song is now officially dedicated to you. May GOD embrace your soul & lift up your family,” he tweeted.”

Hip hop mogul Russell Simmons and Da Brat also both tweeted condolences overnight.


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