Synopsis of Pop Music
"Warm it up, Chris,
I'm about to,
Warm it up Chris,
Cause that's what I was born to do..."
Teen pop was rescued from a lull in 1992 with the rise of Kris Kross. This rapping teen duo helped bring hip-hop to the youth of America with their mixture of hip-hop rhythms and catchy, pop-friendly chants. As a result, they sold millions of albums and helped hip-hop get a foothold in the pop music scene. Their music also brought an urban edge to the teen-pop sound and thus paved the way for r&b-conscious teen-pop groups like the Backstreet Boys.
Kris Kross’s path to stardom began, strangely enough, in a shoe store. Childhood friends Chris Kelly and Chris Smith were shopping for sneakers when they were spotted by Jermaine Dupri, a rising r&b star and producer. He like the style and wit of the two Chrises and convinced them to pursue a music career. Dupri went on to produce and write Totally Krossed Out, their debut album. Its first single was “Jump,” a slickly-rhymed slice of hip-hop punctuated by a shout-along chant of “Jump! Jump!” It became an instant hit and the duo’s photogenic looks made its video a frequently-played favorite on MTV.
Soon, Kris Kross were all over television and radio. They followed “Jump” with “Warm It Up,” another throbbing hip-hop tune punctuated with its own unique call-and-response chant. It became a top-selling hit and led to Kris Kross appearances on The Arsenio Hall Show, Good Morning America and Live With Regis And Kathie Lee. The constant exposure helped make Kris Kross’s unusual habit of wearing their clothes backwards a popular fashion trend with teens.
By the end of 1992, Kris Kross had sold over four million albums and toured Europe with Michael Jackson. They returned to the charts in 1993 with Da Bomb, a tougher-sounding album that featured a hit single in “Alright.” After a short break, they released Young Rich And Dangerous in 1996. This surprisingly mellow collection of hip-hop tunes featured a best-selling ballad in “Tonite’s Tha Night.” Kelly and Smith wrote and produced two of the songs on this album. Kris Kross also released an EP of remixes called Best of Kris Kross Remixed 92-94-96 at the end of that year.
Chris Smith and Chris Kelly have recently reunited with Jermaine Dupri—now an in-demand producer for the likes of Mariah Carey and TLC—to make a new Kris Kross album. Hip-hop fans everywhere are looking forward to the return of the two ‘mack daddies’ as they continue to pursue their successful style of pop-flavored hip-hop for a long time to come.
"Kris Kross'll make ya...
Artist Release History1992 - Totally Krossed Out
1993 - Da Bomb
1996 - Young, Rich and Dangerous
Pop Sub Categoriespop
Essential Music AlbumsTotally Krossed Out (Sony)
Band MembersChris 'Daddy Mack' Smith vocals
Chris 'Mack Daddy' Kelly vocals