In the early 1990s, the hip-hop scene witnessed the meteoric rise of Criss Cross, a dynamic duo comprising Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly and Chris “Daddy Mac” Smith.
Their infectious energy and unique style captured the hearts of music fans worldwide, propelling them to stardom at a remarkably young age.
However, their journey was fraught with challenges and setbacks that ultimately led to their untimely demise as a group.
The story of Criss Cross began in Atlanta, Georgia, where the two young artists caught the attention of legendary producer Jermaine Dupri while performing at a local mall.
Dupri recognized their raw talent and wasted no time in signing them to his record label, So So Def. With Dupri’s guidance, Criss Cross released their debut album, “Totally Krossed Out,” in 1992.
The album’s lead single, “Jump,” became an instant sensation, topping the Billboard Hot 100 chart for eight consecutive weeks and selling over 4 million copies.
Criss Cross’s success extended beyond music; they revolutionized fashion by popularizing the trend of wearing clothes backward, a bold move that became their trademark.
Their influence permeated pop culture, and they embarked on a European tour with none other than the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson.
Criss Cross’s impact was undeniable, and they were hailed as icons of the ’90s hip-hop scene.
However, maintaining their early success proved to be a daunting task for Criss Cross.
As the music industry evolved, they faced pressure to adapt to changing trends while staying true to their unique sound.
Their subsequent albums, “Da Bomb” and “Young, Rich & Dangerous,” showcased their growth as artists but failed to replicate the commercial success of their debut.
Internal struggles and external pressures took a toll on Criss Cross, leading to creative differences and tensions within the group.
In 1996, they decided to part ways, marking the end of an era for the iconic duo.
Despite attempts to revive their careers, including a brief reunion in 2013, Criss Cross ultimately faded from the spotlight.
Tragically, the story of Criss Cross took a devastating turn with the passing of Chris Kelly in 2013.
He was found unresponsive at his Atlanta home, and although the exact cause of death was initially unclear, it was later confirmed to be a drug overdose.
Kelly’s untimely demise served as a stark reminder of the challenges that come with fame and the pitfalls of the music industry.
Despite their tumultuous journey, Criss Cross left an indelible mark on the world of hip-hop.
Their infectious energy, innovative style, and chart-topping hits cemented their legacy as pioneers of ’90s rap.
Though their time in the spotlight was relatively short-lived, Criss Cross’s impact continues to resonate with music fans around the globe, ensuring that their memory lives on for generations to come.