In 1992, two kids from Atlanta exploded onto the scene with “Jump”, a catchy banger produced by Jermaine Dupri.
But Kris Kross would be bigger than just music. Although “Jump” would become a multi-platinum debut track for the kid duo, they would also gain international acclaim for their trendsetting style due to them wearing their clothes backwards, something that started a brief global fad.
Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly and Chris “Daddy Mac” Smith were two lifelong friends who were discovered by Dupri at Atlanta’s Greenbriar Mall in 1991. Dupri instantly saw the kids’ potential, and quickly put them in the studio.
Neither boy was even 14 years old when “Jump” rocketed up the charts, becoming a #1 hit on the Billboard charts for 8 weeks.
Success came quickly: before the end of 1992, Kris Kross would be featured on Michael Jackson’s “Jam”, and would tour with him in Europe as part of the singer’s “Dangerous” tour.
As the end of the 1990s approached, Kris Kross were by then grown men with a distinctly different style and sound. Kris Kross no longer believed they could perform the same sorts of songs that had catapulted them to fame–the songs Kris Kross fans expected them to produce. Soon, Kris Kross transitioned away from the stage.
In 1996, the duo would release their third and final album, Young, Rich & Dangerous, which produced the hit, “Tonite’s Tha Night”. The album would be certified gold.
The young men would them embark on separate paths: Kelly would study engineering, and founded C-Connection Records.
Smith studied marketing and business management and founded One Life Entertainment, Inc..
The two would reunite for what would be their last performance together in 2013, in celebration of So So Def’s 20th anniversary, which took place at Atlanta’s famed Fox Theatre.
By then, rumors were swirling that Chris Kelly was battling severe substance abuse.
On May 1, 2013, Chris Kelly died of a drug overdose. He was 34 years old.
To date, Kris Kross is the youngest and most successful musical dup to ever rip the charts.