Chris Kelly and Chris Smith were the ultimate trendsetters for the tween crowd in the early 90’s. Discovered in an Atlanta mall in 1990, the signed a recording deal with Ruffhouse Records and released their album “Totally Krossed Out” in 1992. “Jump” was their first, and biggest, hit song. The Mac Daddy and the Daddy Mac’s signature fashion statement was wearing their clothes backwards. How could you not want to try it yourself?
“Jump” was the fastest selling single in America since The Police’s “Every Breath You Take” in 1983. “Jump” jumped to #1 and stayed on top of the Billboard Hot 100 for 8 weeks. Kris Kross’ immediate popularity earned them a spot as opening act for Michael Jackson’s “Dangerous” tour.
How high? Real high
Cause I’m just so fly
A young loveable, hugable type of guy
And everything is to the back with a little slack
Cause inside out, it’s wiggida wiggida wiggida wack”
I was hooked on the song as soon as I heard it on Z100 in Portland. I listened intently to the radio so I could record the song onto a cassette tap and replay it like crazy. I loved the beat, I memorized the lyrics, and I loved that these boys were SO cool…and they were my same age! I wanted to be cool too…so I tried to wear my clothes backwards. I put on my stonewashed jeans and Portland Trailblazers button-down jersey on backwards…and it looked terrible. A girl with sprouting curves should NOT try to wear clothing backwards. As much as I wanted to follow a trend, I just couldn’t get the nerve to leave the house like that. But wow…I thought the boys at my school with backwards clothes were so stylin.
It’s a little bit strange to me…because I’ve been planning to publish this blog post all week. “Jump” has been on my list of songs to write about for Flashback Friday for a while. So when I heard the news on Friday that Chris Kelly had died, it felt like such an odd coincidence. “Jump” was a song that really takes me back to a fun time in my life, and I can’t say how many times I’ve listened to the song and jumped along.
So here’s to you, Chris Kelly. Thanks for the fun you gave my early teens with a thumping beat and fun rap to spout out with the song came on.
Ain’t nuthin’ sucker about Kris Kross we all that
So when they ask, “Do they rock?” say “Believe that!”