Photo Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc
Sad details are emerging about the death of Kris Kross rapper Chris Kelly, 34. The '90s hip-hop icon had reportedly taken a combination of cocaine and heroin the night before he died. According to the police report, Chris' mother Donna had taken him home after the apparent overdose. She's the one who called 911 when he collapsed the next day. And she was presumably by his side when her son was pronounced dead at the hospital. How awful.
Chris Kelly's mother and uncle have confirmed that Chris had a history of drug abuse. Donna, in fact, had intervened before; according to the police report, "she stated that they had brought Kelly home to recover from his drug use and had done this several times in the past."
This is a sad week for anyone who grew up with Kris Kross, the hip-hop duo best known for the single "Jump." Discovered in 1991 when they were 13 years old, Chris Kelly and partner Chris Smith had a multiplatinum debut album, toured with Michael Jackson, and made a Sprite commercial we can still recite by heart. The boys were cute enough that they could get away with wearing their clothes backwards -- and cool enough to make it a trend.
"To millions of fans worldwide, he was the trendsetting, backwards pants-wearing one-half of Kris Kross who loved making music," said Kelly's mother in a statement. "But to us, he was just Chris – the kind, generous and fun-loving life of the party."
The phrase "life of the party" takes on a sad double meaning, considering how Chris Kelly died. What was it that drove him over the edge? Was it the burden of being a former child star, like Corey Haim? Was the hip-hop community turning a blind eye to his drug use, as seems to be happening right now with Lil Wayne? Was he turning to drugs because of Internet bullying, as the editor of Global Grind believes? It could also be a run-of-the-mill addiction story: He started using and just couldn't stop.
Today, stunned fans and former friends are memorializing Chris Kelly on the Internet. Here are just a few of the celebrities who have tweeted remembrances of the rapper.
One of my motivations as a kid to even get into the rap game. You will be missed. R.I.P. Chris Kelly instagram.com/p/YyzP2ZQazu/— Ludacris (@Ludacris) May 2, 2013
RIP Chris Kelly— Diddy (@iamdiddy) May 2, 2013
So sorry to hear that. Sending love to his family. RIP Chris— Nicki Minaj (@NICKIMINAJ) May 2, 2013
R.I.PChris Kelly. This song is now officially dedicated to you. May GOD embrace your soul & lift up your family. m.soundcloud.com/llcoolj/14-jum…— LL COOL J (@llcoolj) May 2, 2013
WTF MAN !!!R.I.P. Chris Kelly !!!AWWWW MANNN !!!My Condolences to the family !!!!WE WORKD IN THE 90'S...VERY TALENTED YALL !!— Redman (@therealredman) May 2, 2013
"You can get the finga...the middle" --Mac Daddy #KrissKross— Questlove Jenkins (@questlove) May 2, 2013
Chris Kelly from Kriss Kross has died. Hope he's wearing his halo backwards in heaven.— Moshe Kasher (@moshekasher) May 2, 2013