Kris Kross

Last updated
Kris Kross
Kris Kross.JPG
Smith (left) and Kelly (right) in 1996
Background information
Origin Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Genres Hip hop
Years active1991–1996,2006-2013,
Associated acts
Past members
  • Chris "Mac Daddy" Kelly (Deceased)
  • Chris "Daddy Mac" Smith

Kris Kross was an American hip hop duo formed in the early 1990s that consisted of Chris "Mac Daddy" Kelly and Chris "Daddy Mac" Smith. The duo was discovered by Jermaine Dupri in 1991 and hit worldwide status the following year with their smash hit debut single, "Jump", which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for eight weeks and was certified double platinum as a single. They went on to release three studio albums, with their debut album Totally Krossed Out topping the US Billboard 200, and their following albums, Da Bomb and Young, Rich & Dangerous making it into the Top 20. The duo were also noted for their signature fashion style of wearing their clothes backwards. Chris Kelly died of a drug overdose in 2013.

Hip hop music music genre consisting of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping

Hip hop music, also called hip-hop or rap music, is a music genre developed in the United States by inner-city African Americans in the late 1970s which consists of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted. It developed as part of hip hop culture, a subculture defined by four key stylistic elements: MCing/rapping, DJing/scratching with turntables, break dancing, and graffiti writing. Other elements include sampling beats or bass lines from records, and rhythmic beatboxing. While often used to refer solely to rapping, "hip hop" more properly denotes the practice of the entire subculture. The term hip hop music is sometimes used synonymously with the term rap music, though rapping is not a required component of hip hop music; the genre may also incorporate other elements of hip hop culture, including DJing, turntablism, scratching, beatboxing, and instrumental tracks.

Jermaine Dupri American record producer, rapper, record executive and DJ from Georgia

Jermaine Dupri Mauldin is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer and record executive. He was born in Asheville, North Carolina and was raised in Atlanta. He has worked with and produced for Kris Kross, Mariah Carey, Usher, Jay-Z, Nelly, Monica, Migos, Da Brat, Xscape, Janet Jackson, TLC, Aretha Franklin, Ludacris, Alicia Keys, and Bow Wow.

Jump (Kris Kross song) 1992 single by Kris Kross

"Jump" is the hit debut single by American hip hop duo Kris Kross. It was released on February 6, 1992, as a single from their debut studio album Totally Krossed Out. It achieved international success, topping charts in Switzerland, Australia, and the United States. Additionally, it was the third best-selling song in the United States in 1992 with sales of 2,079,000 physical copies that year.



The friendship of Atlanta natives James Christopher Kelly (August 11, 1978 May 1, 2013) [1] and Christopher Smith (born January 10, 1979) began in first grade. [2] The duo was discovered at an Atlanta shopping mall in 1991 by then 19-year-old Jermaine Dupri.

Totally Krossed Out, 1992

Along with Dupri, the two signed a deal with Ruffhouse Records and recorded their debut album Totally Krossed Out (1992). Entirely produced by Dupri, Totally Krossed Out was released March 31 that year and sold four million copies in the U.S. It included the hit single "Jump", which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for eight weeks, "becoming the first rap song to have achieved so long a run at the top. No other rap song had led the chart for that length of time." [3]

Ruffhouse Records is an American record label founded in 1989 by Chris Schwartz and Joe Nicolo as a joint venture with Columbia Records. In 1999, Schwartz and Nicolo closed the label, and Schwartz and Kevon Glickman continued with RuffNation Records. Ruffhouse's artist roster at the time of its original closing included The Fugees, Cypress Hill, Kris Kross, Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill, and Leela James.

<i>Totally Krossed Out</i> 1992 studio album by Kris Kross

Totally Krossed Out is the debut studio album by American hip hop duo Kris Kross. It was produced and largely written by Jermaine Dupri and released on March 31, 1992, by Ruffhouse Records and Columbia Records. After developing a musical concept for the duo, Dupri spent two years writing and producing the album.

The music videos from the album also experienced major success. The video for "Jump", directed by filmmaker Rich Murray, went to No. 1 on MTV and sold over 100,000 copies as a VHS video single. The video for their follow-up single, "Warm It Up", also directed by Murray, won a Billboard video award for "Best New Artist",[ citation needed ] and got to No. 14 the same year as “Jump”. [4] Writes The New York Daily News' Jim Farber: "Together, that was enough to propel the duo’s debut album, Totally Krossed Out, to multi-platinum status." [3]

MTV American pay television channel

MTV is an American pay television channel owned by Viacom Media Networks and headquartered in New York City. The channel was launched on August 1, 1981, and originally aired music videos as guided by television personalities known as "video jockeys" (VJs). At first, MTV's main target demographic was young adults, but today it is primarily teenagers, particularly high school and college students.

Warm It Up 1992 single by Kris Kross

"Warm It Up" was the second single released from Kris Kross' debut album, Totally Krossed Out. Produced and written by Jermaine Dupri, "Warm It Up" was released as the follow-up to the duo's multi-platinum chart topping hit, "Jump" on June 4, 1992. The song became the second consecutive top 15 hit released from the album, reaching 13 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #4 in Canada, as well as their second consecutive single to reach #1 on the Rap charts. "Warm It Up" was certified gold on August 8, 1992. In 1993 Kids Incorporated covered "Warm It Up" in the Season 9 episode "Secret Admirer".

Michael Jackson tour and additional media projects (1992–1998)

The duo landed a spot on Michael Jackson's 1992 European Dangerous World Tour as well as a cameo appearance on Jackson's music video for his 1992 single "Jam". Additionally, they made appearances in the music videos for Run-D.M.C.'s "Down with the King" (1993) and TLC's "Hat 2 da Back" (1992), and they were featured in an episode of A Different World and as the closing musical act on the May 29, 1992 episode of In Living Color . [5] [6] [7]

Michael Jackson American singer, songwriter and dancer

Michael Joseph Jackson was an American singer, songwriter, and dancer. Dubbed the "King of Pop", he is widely regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century and one of the greatest entertainers of all time. He was also known for his unorthodox lifestyle, residing in a private amusement park he called Neverland Ranch, and often becoming the focus of tabloid scrutiny. Jackson's contributions to music, dance, and fashion, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.

Dangerous World Tour tour by American recording artist Michael Jackson

The Dangerous World Tour was the second world concert tour by American singer Michael Jackson. The tour was sponsored by Pepsi-Cola. All profits were donated to various charities including Jackson's own "Heal the World Foundation". The tour ran from June 27, 1992, to November 11, 1993. After his appearances in Mexico City, Jackson abruptly canceled the remainder of his tour, which was scheduled to run through the rest of the year. He cited his addiction to prescription painkillers after surgery, as well as exhaustion after dealing with the recent child sexual abuse allegations against him. He described a lawsuit filed by the family of a young boy and an accompanying criminal investigation as an attempt at "extortion."

A cameo role or cameo appearance is a brief appearance or voice part of a known person in a work of the performing arts. These roles are generally small, many of them non-speaking ones, and are commonly either appearances in a work in which they hold some special significance or renowned people making uncredited appearances. Short appearances by celebrities, film directors, politicians, athletes or musicians are common. A crew member of the movie or show playing a minor role can be referred to as a cameo as well, such as Alfred Hitchcock's frequently performed cameos.

A video game starring the pair, titled Kris Kross: Make My Video , was released in 1992 on the Sega CD system. It consisted of the players editing together the group's music videos for a few of their hit songs—using portions of the original music videos, stock footage, and general video animation effects. Players were prompted before each editing session to make sure to have certain footage compiled into the video. The game was released only in the United States to poor sales figures and dismal reviews. It was ranked 18th on Electronic Gaming Monthly's list of the "20 Worst Games of All Time". [8] Kris Kross made a cameo appearance in Ted Demme's film Who's the Man? (1993), which starred rapper Ed Lover and radio personality Doctor Dré of Yo! MTV Raps fame. [9]

Sega CD add-on for the Sega Genesis video game console

The Sega CD, released as the Mega-CD in most regions outside North America and Brazil, is a CD-ROM accessory for the Sega Genesis video game console designed and produced by Sega as part of the fourth generation of video game consoles. It was released on December 12, 1991 in Japan, October 15, 1992 in North America, and 1993 in Europe. The Sega CD lets the user play CD-based games and adds hardware functionality such as a faster central processing unit and graphic enhancements. It can also play audio CDs and CD+G discs.

Stock footage, and similarly, archive footage, library pictures, and file footage is film or video footage that can be used again in other films. Stock footage is beneficial to filmmakers as it saves shooting new material. A single piece of stock footage is called a "stock shot" or a "library shot". Stock footage may have appeared in previous productions but may also be outtakes or footage shot for previous productions and not used. Examples of stock footage that might be utilized are moving images of cities and landmarks, wildlife in their natural environments, and historical footage. Suppliers of stock footage may be either rights managed or royalty-free. Many websites offer direct downloads of clips in various formats.

<i>Electronic Gaming Monthly</i> American video game magazine

Electronic Gaming Monthly is a monthly American video game magazine. It offers video game news, coverage of industry events, interviews with gaming figures, editorial content, and product reviews.

Da Bomb (1993)

The duo's second album, Da Bomb (1993), was certified platinum and spawned the hits "Alright" featuring Super Cat, "I'm Real", and "Da Bomb" featuring Da Brat, whom Smith had discovered. Most of their songs had been directed at rivals Da Youngstas, Illegal, and Another Bad Creation. [10]

Young, Rich & Dangerous (1996)

A third album, Young, Rich & Dangerous , was released in early 1996 and was certified gold. It spawned the two hits "Tonite's tha Night" and "Live and Die for Hip Hop". [11]


Kelly studied engineering, and founded C Connection Records. [12] Smith studied marketing and business management and founded One Life Entertainment, Inc. [13]

Final show

Kris Kross' last performance was in their hometown at the Fox Theatre for So So Def's 20th Anniversary concert in 2013. [14]


Kris Kross was the youngest hip-hop duo to gain success, with gold and platinum albums, at 12 and 13 years old. They have been referenced on the albums or songs of Eminem, Dr. Dre, 2Pac, Method Man, and many more.[ citation needed ]

Portrait of Chris Kelly by Chris Smith Chris Smith Urbane Muse Black Shades Oil and Gold Leaf on Panel 36 x 48 .jpeg
Portrait of Chris Kelly by Chris Smith

Death of Chris Kelly

On May 1, 2013, Chris Kelly was found unconscious in his Atlanta home. He was pronounced dead around 5 p.m. on the south campus of the Atlanta Medical Center; he was 34 years old. [15] [16] [17] According to the police report documents, Kelly had been brought home to recover from his drug use, as he had done several times in the past. His uncle told police that Kelly "had an extensive history of drug abuse." [18] [19] The following day, Dupri tweeted a "letter to fans", in which he referred to Kelly as "a son that I never had", and praised Kelly as an artist. Numerous other artists and fans publicly acknowledged Kelly's death, some citing Kris Kross or Kelly as their inspiration or their reason for entering the music industry. On July 1, a toxicology report was released stating that Kelly died from a drug overdose. According to the Fulton County Medical Examiner Office, the toxicology screening shows that Kelly had a mixture of drugs in his system, including cocaine and heroin. [20]

Smith tribute song

Smith wrote and produced "Best Friends Forever", where he mourns the loss of his childhood friend. On the recording Smith raps, sings and plays all keyboards, bass and guitar parts. [21] [22] The song is an interpolation of "That's What Friends Are For", originally written by Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager, and first recorded in 1982 by Rod Stewart for the soundtrack of the film Night Shift .


Studio albums

YearAlbum detailPeak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
1992 Totally Krossed Out 117333031
1993 Da Bomb
  • Second studio album
  • Release date: August 3, 1993
  • Label: Ruffhouse/Columbia Records
1996 Young, Rich & Dangerous
  • Third studio album
  • Release date: January 9, 1996
  • Label: Ruffhouse/Columbia Records
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Remix albums

YearAlbum details
1996 Best of Kris Kross Remixed '92 '94 '96
  • First remix album
  • Release date: November 26, 1996
  • Label: Ruffhouse/Columbia Records

Compilation albums

YearAlbum details
1998 Gonna Make U Jump
  • First compilation album
  • Release date: April 28, 1998
  • Label: Ruffhouse/Columbia Records


YearSinglePeak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)

1992"Jump"11311511122Totally Krossed Out
"Warm It Up"13212144163343416
"I Missed the Bus"63952857
"It's a Shame"35271931
1993"Alright" (with Super Cat)1997847Da Bomb
"I'm Real"84
1994"Da Bomb" (with Da Brat)
1995"Tonite's tha Night"121148Young, Rich, & Dangerous
1996"Live and Die for Hip Hop"7230
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

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