Rapper Chris Kelly, who formed one half of the popular ’90s hip-hop group Kriss Kross, was found dead in his home on Wednesday night. He was 34 years old.
Kriss Kross shot to stardom in 1991 with their debut album, “Totally Krossed Out” after being discovered by producer Jermaine Dupri while performing in an Atlanta mall. Their style, which consisted of baggy sweatshirts and jeans, was instantly transformed from the norm into a fad when they began wearing the clothes backwards.
Though the group never really found the same success with later albums, they remained close friends and recently performed together at the So- So Def 20th Anniversary Concert, where they opened the show.
The cause of Kelly’s death is reportedly drug related, according to authorities.
“It appears it may have been a possible drug overdose,” said Cpl. Kay Lester, a spokeswoman for the Fulton County police; investigators are basing that judgement on evidence found at the scene.
Kelly’s friends, family, and fans are mourning the loss of a young man who helped shape the music world for young people. His mother, Donna Kelly Pratte, released a statement regarding his death:
“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.”
Image: Jonathan Phillips, Atlanta-Journal Constitution