R.I.P., Chris Kelly, the hip-hop prodigy who grew up fast with Kris Kross

May 2, 2013
Chris Kelly, aka Mack Daddy of Kris Kross, performs "Jump" with Chris Smith at Madison Square Garden in 1992. (Joe Tabacca / AP)
Chris Kelly, aka Mack Daddy of Kris Kross, performs “Jump” with Chris Smith at Madison Square Garden in 1992. (Joe Tabacca / AP)

 

 

“Yeah, we might be young, but we’re growing up day by day. And at this age we’ve experienced what many others have not by the time they’re middle-aged. We got the money, we got the power and we got the fame — this is why we’re dangerous.”

 

 

Chris Kelly in a 1996 interview with British newspaper The Voice, four years after he and Chris Smith surged to fame as the hip-hop duo Kris Kross. The best friends known for their backwards-clothing style (“we’re twins who don’t look like each other,” Smith told the New York Times in 1992) were discovered while sneaker shopping in an Atlanta mall by producer Jermaine Dupri. They were only 13 when they released their multi-platinum debut album. Kelly died Wednesday in an Atlanta hospital at age 34; no cause of death has been determined, though TMZ’s peek at the early police report is predictably grim. (AP: Chris Kelly, member of 90s rap duo Kris Kross, dies in Atlanta at 34)

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