In this Feb. 23, 2013 photo, Chris Kelly of Kris Kross performs on stage at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta during the So So Def 20th Anniversary Concert. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jonathan Phillips)
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
ATLANTA (AP) — The mother of rapper Chris Kelly told authorities in Atlanta her son became sick after taking cocaine and heroin on the night before he died, according to a police report.
Kelly, half of the 1990s teen rap duo Kriss Kross, was found dead Wednesday of a suspected drug overdose.
Kelly’s mother, Donna Kelly Pratte, 54, and his uncle, Lamar Williams, 52, told authorities Kelly had a history of drug abuse and experienced similar episodes in the past, according to the Fulton County police report.
Paramedics found Kelly, 34, unresponsive on a living room couch at his Atlanta home and tried administering CPR. Kelly, who was known as “Mac Daddy,” was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Authorities completed a physical examination of Kelly’s body and a toxicology screening was being done to determine cause of death, said Betty Honey of the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office.
Kriss Kross was introduced to the music world in 1992 by music producer and rapper Jermaine Dupri after he discovered the pair at Greenbriar Mall in southwest Atlanta. Kelly performed alongside Chris Smith, who known as “Daddy Mac.”
“To the world Chris was Mac Daddy but to me, he was a son I never had …,” Dupri said in a written statement Thursday.
“When I think about it, I spent more time with Chris and Chris than damn near anybody in my whole life, so you can imagine how bad this hurts,” Dupri added. “I will always love you Chris, and I will never let the world forget you, may God bless your soul.”
Other music industry fixtures took to Twitter to share their condolences after hearing news of Kelly’s death.
The duo wore their clothes backward as a gimmick, but they won over fans with their raps.
Their first, and by far most successful song, was “Jump.” The hit, off their multiplatinum 1992 debut album “Totally Krossed Out,” featured the two trading verses and rapping the refrain, the song’s title. The duo had surprising maturity in their rap delivery, though the song was written by Dupri. It would become a No. 1 smash in the United States and globally, and one of the most popular of that year.
Their success led to instant fame: They toured with Michael Jackson, appeared on TV shows, and even had their own video game.
The group was never able to match the tremendous success of their first song, though they had other hits like “Warm It Up,” and “Tonite’s tha Night.”
In 2009, after photos surfaced that showed Kelly with bald spots on his head, there were rumors that he had cancer. But in an interview posted on YouTube by Straight from the A TV, he said he suffered from alopecia, a condition in which people lose their hair.
“My health is good, I just got alopecia, I don’t have cancer, not other sort of diseases,” he said.
Earlier this year, the group performed together to celebrate the anniversary of Durpri’s label, So So Def.
Wells Gabriel reported from Washington. AP Entertainment Writer Nekesa Mumbi Moody in New York and writer Jeff Martin in Atlanta contributed to this report.