Teenage hip-hop duo Kris Kross was made up of Chris Kelly, known as "Mac Daddy," and Chris "Daddy Mac" Smith. The pair were just 13 when they were discovered by 18-year-old Jermaine Dupri in an Atlanta mall. Their first release, "Jump," penned by Dupri, was Kris Kross' first and most successful song, topping the Hot 100 for eight weeks and selling four million copies. It was the fastest-selling single the US had seen for 15 years and also reached #1 on the charts in Australia and New Zealand, and #2 in the United Kingdom.
Dupri borrowed the bass line from The Jackson 5's "I Want You Back
." Kris Kross was an early experiment for the producer/writer, who would go on to helm tracks for such teenage rappers as Da Brat and Lil Bow Wow. He would become far better known for his work with such R&B-pop artists as Mariah Carey and Usher (and for his relationship with Janet Jackson).
The song featured in the 2011 movie Friends with Benefits, starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis.
Kris Kross continued releasing records into the mid-1990s and had some success with the Top 20 hits "Warm It Up," "Alright" and "Tonite's Tha Night," but they were never able to match the huge success of their debut song. Kelly and Smith went their separate ways sometime after their 1996 Young, Rich & Dangerous album and went on to have solo careers.
Kris Kross were noted for their fashion style, which consisted of wearing their pants backwards - what they called "totally krossed-out." The reference this look at the beginning of the song with the line, "we stand there totally krossed-out."
The lyric, "Don't try to compare us to another bad little fad" is a reference to the Atlanta group Another Bad Creation, who scored Top-10 hits in 1991 with "Iesha" and "Playground." Another Bad Creation (ABC) was a tweenage fivesome put together by Michael Bivens of Bell Biv DeVoe, who marketed them as part of the "East Coast Family" along with Boyz II Men. The lyrical barb proved correct, as Another Bad Creation quickly vanished from popular culture.
Chris Kelly was found unresponsive in his Atlanta home on May 12, 2013. He was taken to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later. He was just 34-years-old.