Wake-Up Video has been a staple of the MTV Newsroom blog since the summer of 2009, and each morning it delivers a little slice of music history alongside a music video that is meant to get the blood flowing in the first hours of the day. (Then again, sometimes it’s just a bunch of nonsense about how cool “The X-Files” was.) So how is it that the series has gone this long without an appearance by Kris Kross? Luckily, today marks the anniversary of the release of the pre-adolescent hip-hop duo’s debut album Totally Krossed Out, as it hit the streets on this day in 1992. Actually, it’s possible that the album may have dropped two weeks earlier on March 17, as research points to both dates being accurate. But considering how fast and loose everybody played with release dates back in ’92, let’s call it today.)
Kris Kross consisted of Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly and Chris “Daddy Mac” Smith, a pair of juvenile rappers discovered by a not-that-much-older Jermaine Dupri in a mall in Atlanta. Dupri signed the pair when they were only 11 years old and not only produced their debut album Totally Krossed Out but also helped developed their individual personalities and their clothing styles, which consisted of wearing their clothes backwards. Though their rhymes were safe as milk (they had a single called “I Missed the Bus”), they were still skilled enough to be initially embraced by the hip-hop community and also sell as huge crossover stars.
Totally Krossed Out went on to sell four million copies, though puberty was not kind to Kris Kross. Their follow-up, 1993’s Da Bomb, sold respectably, their star was already fading, and by the time they got to 1996’s more adult-sounding Young, Rich and Dangerous, the luster had worn off. Both members of Kris Kross still work in the music business, but they still remain the kids who brought “Jump” to the world.