According to Associated Press, Rapper Chris Kelly, who was known as ‘Mac Daddy” in the 1990s duo Kris Kross, died from a mixture of drugs in his system. A toxicology lab report confirmed that a drug overdose was what killed the 34 year old rapper Chris Kelly.
The Fulton county Medical Examiner’s office performed a toxicology screening after the 34-year-old Kelly was found unresponsive in his Atlanta home on May 1 and the screening revealed that Kelly had drugs in his system. Paramedics were not able to resuscitate him and he was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Mary Beth Hauptle, an investigator with the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office in Atlanta, released the test results to Reuters but declined to identify the drugs used.
Another investigator from the Atlanta Medical Examiner’s office, Betty Honey, said she didn’t know what specific drugs Kelly had used before his death. Although according to Kelly’s mother, who talked to the police at the scene, He had taken cocaine and heroin the night before he died. and he had a history of drug abuse.
His mother, Donna Kelly Pratte, also told authorities that the rapper had a history of drug abuse and had experienced episodes in the past. Police reports also include information from Kelly’s uncle who also told police about his extensive history of drug abuse.
The police report includes information from Pratte revealing that, “they had brought Kelly home to recover from his drug use and had done this several times in the past.”
Kris Kross gained fame in 1992 when hip-hop producer and So So Def Records founder Jermaine Dupri discovered them at an Atlanta mall. Kelly teamed with Chris “Daddy Mac” Smith in the energetic rap act. They were known for wearing their clothes backward.
Their debut single, Jump, hit No. 1 in the U.S. and became an international sensation. They had a few more hits like Warm It Up and Tonite’s tha Night, but they never matched Jump’s success as a single.
Along with Dupri, they signed a deal with Ruffhouse Records and recorded their debut album Totally Krossed Out in 1992. Entirely produced by Dupri, Totally Krossed Out was released March 31 that year and sold four million copies in the U.S. It included the hit single Jump, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for eight weeks, it was the first time that a rap song stayed so long in the top 100 listing and no other rap song has done that since.
The music videos from the album did extremely well. The video for Jump, which was directed by filmmaker Rich Murray, went to number one on MTV and consequently sold over 100,000 copies as a VHS video single. Their next video for their follow-up single, Warm It Up, which was also directed by Murray, won a Billboard video award for Best New Artist, and got to number 14 the same year as Jump.
The group released three albums but separated some time after their third one. With the group going on to their solo careers. Kris Kross did reunite for So So Def’s 20th Anniversary concert in 2013.
Kelly, 34, was found unresponsive on May 1 at his Atlanta home. He died three hours later at the hospital. Based on evidence found at Kelly’s house, police assumed from the beginning that Kelly died of a drug overdose. An autopsy found no signs of foul play or trauma, police said.
The morning after Chris Kelly was pronounced dead on May 2, Jermaine Dupri, who discovered the two rappers in an Atlanta shopping mall tweeted a “letter to fans.” In the tweet he referred to Kelly as “a son I never had.”
He also praised Kelly as an artist. Numerous other artists and fans publicly acknowledged Kelly’s death, some of them citing Kriss Kross or Kelly as their inspiration (e.g., Ludacris) or as an entré into the music industry (e.g., Kandi Burruss).
By Michael Smith