Kris Kross rapper Kelly died from drug overdose, authorities say

Rapper’s uncle said Kelly had an extensive history of drug abuse.

Reuters July 04, 2013
The Kris Kross duo was best known for the single Jump, which topped the mainstream US music charts in 1992. PHOTO:FILE

ATLANTA: Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly of the 1990s teen rap duo Kris Kross died in May from a drug overdose, according to toxicology reports, authorities said on Tuesday. 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.

The Kris Kross duo of “Mac Daddy” Kelly and Chris “Daddy Mac” Smith was best known for the single Jump, which topped the mainstream US music charts in 1992 when Kelly and Smith were both 13 years old.

A friend of Kelly told police that Kelly, 34, was using a mixture of heroin and cocaine on the evening before he was found unconscious in his Atlanta home on May 1, according to a police report. 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. Kelly had an extensive history of drug abuse, his uncle told police, according to a police report.

The duo, whose look of backward pants and shirts was mimicked by fans, never scored another top 10 US hit and released their third and final studio album, Young, Rich & Dangerous, in 1996.

“To millions of fans worldwide, he was the trendsetting, backwards pants-wearing one-half of Kris Kross, who loved making music,” Kelly’s family said in a statement after his death. “But to us, he was just Chris — the kind, generous and fun-loving life of the party.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 5th, 2013.

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