TMZ is now reporting that Chris Kelly, one half of the 90’s rap duo Kris Kross, may have died of a drug overdose.
The site reports that Kelly may have had an ongoing drug problem. The police report obtained by TMZ says that “Donna” told police that Kelly was brought to her home several times in the past to recover from alleged drug use, including cocaine and heroin and that he had used both before paramedics found him unresponsive at his apartment Wednesday afternoon. While TMZ doesn’t identify “Donna,” Donna Kelly Pratte, Kelly’s mother issued a family statement this morning.
“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.”
According to investigator Betty Honey of the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office, Kelly, 34, was pronounced dead around 5 p.m. Wednesday at the south campus of the Atlanta Medical Center.
Honey said authorities are unsure of Kelly’s cause of death pending an autopsy and toxicology reports.
Kelly, known as “Mac Daddy,” and Chris Smith, known as “Daddy Mac,” were introduced to the music world in 1992 by music producer and rapper Jermaine Dupri after he discovered the pair in an Atlanta mall. The duo wore their clothes backwards as a gimmick, but they won over fans with their raps.
Their first, and by far most successful song, was “Jump.” The hit, off their multiplatinum 1992 debut album “Totally Krossed Out,” featured the two trading versus and rapping the refrain, the song’s title. The duo had surprising maturity in their rap delivery, though the song was written by Dupri. It would become a No. 1 smash in the United States and globally, and one of the most popular of that year.
Their success led to instant fame: They toured with Michael Jackson, appeared on TV shows, and even had their own video game.
The group was never able to match the tremendous success of their first song, though they had other hits like “Warm It Up,” and “Tonite’s tha Night.”
Earlier this year, the group performed together to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Durpri’s label, So So Def.
(Photo: Chris Kelly, right, of the duo “Kris Kross”, dies in Georgia)