Chris Kelly, one-half of the Atlanta-based rap duo Kris Kross, died Wednesday (May 1) at the age of 34, MTV News has confirmed with the Fulton County Medical Examiner in Georgia.
The rapper died in an Atlanta hospital after he was found unresponsive at his Atlanta home, and while the cause of death is currently unknown an autopsy is planned for Thursday, CNN reports.
Kelly and his partner Chris Smith hit the rap scene hard in 1992 with their debut single “Jump.” The track sampled the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” and was most remembered for its rambunctious music video where the then-teenagers set a fashion trend by wearing their clothes backwards. The single would eventually propel the duo’s debut LP Totally Krossed Out to multiplatinum status.
The duo released their final album Young, Rich & Dangerous in 1996 and had remained relatively quiet since then, but came together in February to perform at So So Def’s 20-year anniversary concert in Atlanta. In the days leading up to the concert, Kelly and Da Brat appeared on MTV News’ “RapFix Live” show via Skype. During the interview Kelly, Da Brat and So So Def founder Jermaine Dupri reminisced on their early days.
“The highlight, I guess I can say is when we first started and got a deal,” Kelly said. “Or I can say the highlight was when ’Jump’ sold a million records in four weeks.”
When asked if Kris Kross would ever consider trying to make a comeback Kelly left it all up in the air. “I don’t know that’s a question we’re still debating on. Ask Jermaine that,” he said.
Check in with MTV News as more details emerge.
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