Kris Kross rapper Chris Kelly was honored at an Atlanta service today (May 9) that was attended by Jermaine Dupri, Da Brat, partner-in-rhyme Chris Smith and members of R&B group Xscape.
Smith gave a tear-filled eulogy to his late partner, who died May 1 at Atlanta Medical Center. Early reports said that Kelly, 34, had taken a combination of heroin and cocaine earlier that day. The results of a toxicology test are pending.
Dupri and Da Brat reportedly wore their pants backwards to the church service, according to MTV.com. The gesture was a nod to the fashion craze Kris Kross started in 1992 with the release of their hit single “Jump” and the duo’s Totally Krossed Out album. Both Kelly and Smith wore their shirts and pants backwards in public and in their videos, including “Warm It Up.”
Smith said that Kelly a/k/a “Mac Daddy” was a “true friend.” “I would say Kris Kross forever, but without Chris, it ain’t never gonna be the same,” Smith a/k/a “Daddy Mac” reportedly said at the service. “But I hope our legacy for Hip Hop is never forgotten.”
In addition to launching the backward clothing style, Kris Kross were among the first wave of prepubescent rappers.
A public viewing for Kelly was held in Atlanta yesterday (May 8).
UPDATE: Kris Kross performed in front of millions of fans after becoming stars in 1992. Yesterday (May 10), Chris “Daddy Mac” Smith remembered the last show he performed with late partner Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly, who died May 1. Smith said that Kelly told him to “stay focused” during the show, a comment that drew laughter from those in attendance.
It wasn’t all smiles for Smith, though. “It’s been like a struggle for me everyday,” he said in his initial comments as he fought back tears. “This morning when I woke up, this peace came over me ’cause I know Chris is in Heaven with our Heavenly Father.”