Kris Kross founder Chris Kelly has passed away at Atlanta Medical Center.
Hip hop's transformation from ghetto style to mainstream success produced some remarkable crossover stories. However few are more eventful, more draped in the tropes of the era, than Kris Kross.
Two teenagers uncovered at a shopping mall, Kris Kross had a gimmick - wearing their clothes backwards - and bundles of energy. Signed to Ruffhouse Records, the duo's Jermaine Dupri penned single 'Jump' became an international hit.
Subsequent album 'Totally Krossed Out' sold more than four million copies in the United States alone, and sparked two follow ups. Drifting in and out of the music scene following the duo's split in 1998, founder Chris Kelly recently returned to the stage as part of So So Def's 20th anniversary.
Sadly, though, it seems that this will go down as one of the rapper's final performances. Taken ill at home, Chris Kelly (Mac Daddy) was pronounced dead at Atlanta Medical Center. He was 34 years old.
Kelly's mother and the So So Def Family have paid tribute to the rapper.
"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."