It's been over 25 years since Kris Kross made us 'Jump', but what happened to them after their single rocketed them to a new level of fame? The two best friends, Chris Kelly and Chris Smith, were only teenagers when they were discovered in 1991, but that didn't stop them from creating a record-breaking hit.
Chris "Mac Daddy" Kelly and Chris "Daddy Mac" Kelly released their debut album "Totally Krossed Out" in 1992 which featured the single "Jump." The hit song topped the Hot 100 charts for eight weeks, longer than any other rap song at the time. They even were able to sell the music video on VHS! It was so popular that it was turned into a video game, albeit one that people absolutely hated, but still existed!
The band went on tour with Michael Jackson and appeared in other artist's music videos, including Jackson's song "Jam," D.M.C.'s song "Down with the King," and TLC's song "Hat 2 da Back."
The young stars had a bright future ahead of them as they continued to release hit after hit. Their follow up albums were a success, but as it is with so many bands, hit songs aren't always going to keep them together. In 1996 they released their final album "Young, Rich & Dangerous" before separating to pursue solo careers.
But what happened after their separation?
Smith started releasing new music in 2007. His album was called "Urbane Expressions" which he tried to market as more positive rap. Kelly dealt with rumors in 2009 that he was struggling with cancer because people spotted some unusual bald spots in his hair, but he revealed that he actually has alopecia. He also started his own record label called C.CO Records that focused on R&B and hip-hop.
In 2013, the two decided to reunite. It had been 20 years since their hit single came out and they wanted to celebrate. They even still wore their pants backwards, just like the good ol' days. Although according to Kelly, he had been wearing them like that since 1991.
Things took a turn in May, when Chris Kelly was found unconscious in his Atlanta house. He had been struggling with drug addiction for years, and when the 34-year-old rapper was found unresponsive people knew right away that it was likely an overdose. The toxicology report revealed a mixture of cocaine and heroin in his system, which led to his death.
His best friend and band-mate wrote the song "Best Friends Forever" as a tribute, playing and singing all the parts of the song in honor of his friend. Despite the loss of his partner, he believes that Kelly would have wanted him to continue. “This was our passion since we were eleven years old, so we found the love for music at a very early age," Smith said. “I know he would just want me to continue on the path that we started. It will never be the same."
Since then, Smith has also been painting and sketching, sharing them online on his Instagram called Urbane Muse. He also sells clothing that he designs.
While it's truly heartbreaking that Chris "Daddy Mac" Kelly passed away in such a tragic way, it's good to see that his best friend Chris "Mac Daddy" Smith has found a way to continue on without his partner.