For millions of us who have fond memories of coming of age in the 90s, the news of Kris Kross' "Mac Daddy" Chris Kelly's passing Wednesday night at age 34 was particularly troubling. But along with being one-half of the duo behind the infectious double platinum single "Jump" off the quadruple platinum album Totally Krossed Out, Kelly's career milestones read like a winning "Things of the 90s" bingo card. With his passing reminding us of how many of our memories his music is intertwined with, we take a look back at Kris Kross' Most 90s Moments.
5. Kris Kross' Sprite Commercial
The 90s were a simpler time when you could market a beverage by spelling its name in a rap song. A far cry from Barney Rubble claiming he loved Fruity Pebbles "in a major way," Sprite's hip-hop-centric 90s campaigns wanted customers to "obey your thirst" and remember that "Grant Hill drinks Sprite." They also wanted to let you know Kris Kross liked the Sprite in you and were thrilled to rap about it.
4.Kris Kross' Name-Drop in Eminem's "My Name Is"
Kris Kross had parted ways for almost three years before they were mentioned in the breakout single for upstart Detroit rapper Eminem. On his introductory track, Mr. Mathers boasted he "Ripped Pamela Lee's tits off / and smacked her so hard I knocked her clothes backwards like Kris Kross." The entire line was re-written for the version sent to radio, leaving the backwards clothes imagery a surprise for those who purchased the album.
3. Kris Kross' Cameo in Michael Jackson's "Jam"
The fourth single off of Michael Jackson's Dangerous album, what could be more 90s than a music video boasting cameos from Michael Jordan, Heavy D and Kris Kross? In this promotional making-of clip, aired around the time of the video's premiere, you catch a glimpse of Jackson, D, Mac Daddy and Daddy Mac all having a great time as they shoot the video. It's depressing to realize that three of the talents here are no longer with us.
2. Kris Kross' Sega-CD Game
It's become popular in recent years to knock video game industry titans Sega for their more expensive 90s systems, but if any of their consoles has been unfairly maligned it's the Sega-CD. The innovator of disc-based gaming, it offered some ahead-of-its-time experiences, but it did have some failed ventures including one of its launch titles, Kris Kross' "Make My Video." The object of the game is to re-edit three of the group's biggest hits to appeal to a radio station's callers using only some stock footage and grainy video effects. Watching the above YouTube clip isn't all that different from playing the actual game itself.
1. Kris Kross' "Rugrats" Rap
Nickelodeon did an outstanding job appealing to its youth demographic through hip-hop and inadvertently introducing an entire generation to its first tastes of rap music. But while Coolio and TLC probably had the most visible presence on the network, one of the most memorable and replayed clips was the "Rugrats Rap" performed by Kris Kross. Two kids rapping about the biggest children's show on cable is kind of a no-brainer for success, and its eight year run in rotation on the channel likely made it the first rap song ever heard for countless young viewers. Plus, even revisiting it as an adult, that beat is unstoppable.