Totally Krossed Out & Funkdafied changed the game
At the age 19 Jermaine Dupri did the unthinkable in the music industry or Hip Hop for that matter. He decided for the his next act to be pre-teens that rap, which is technically he did because fellow ATL natives Anotha Bad Creation came out first and they had an R&B feel to them. J.D. new group Kris Kross were Hip Hop to the fullest when it came to their attire and music.
Baggy jeans and sports jerseys turned backwards with a fresh pair of air jordans, even though they were only 13 I recall grown men dressing like them and I was roughly 14 or 15 years of age in high schools seeing everyone of all races dressing like them as well. Again this is a testament to Jermaine because he seen where the culture was heading. Their single “Jump” took off immediately spending eight weeks on the Billboard 100 making it the longest charted rap song at the time, and the album Totally Krossed Out selling 4 million copies in the US alone.
People try to discredit them, however their debut album was just as much Hip Hop as a Snoop Dogg or an LL Cool J. Totally Krossed Out was relatable to pre teens and teenagers that were going through things in their school or at home. J.D. did not try have Kris Kross as some bubblegum Disney act before keeping it real was a term they were that. On their songs they were dissing other teenage rap groups A.B.C., Illegal, Chi Ali, and Da Youngstas, and saying nigga on their albums, with their names being Mac Daddy and Daddy Mac
Dupri also made sure to not let them get stuck into just being one hit wonders or just novelty act. The genius part of J.D.’s thinking was as Kris Kross fans grew up he made sure that their albums grew with them. Each album they talked about driving, going to the mall, & getting girls, which every 16 year old boy did. Kris Kross were ahead their time when it came to rapping at a young age now it’s the norm with children younger than them rapping. Kris Kross inspired so many people like Sean ‘Diddy” Combs he’s been on the record stating they were one of the reasons he got in the game. Since Kris Kross there has been countless rappers that came in at a young age Bow Wow, Lil Wayne, and the Young Guns to name a few. Kris Kross has sold over 8 million records worldwide.
Jermaine Dupri reached in his bag of tricks again with the success of Kris Kross and he discovered a MC from the Midwest. Always thinking outside the box this MC is female from the westside of Chicago named Da Brat. JD signed her to his label So So Def Recordings making her the first act on his label. Da Brat’s debut album Funkdafied was released in the summer of 1994 and it went platinum making her the first female MC to reach this amazing status.
At the time this was a huge deal because at the time you could count the female MC’s that were rapping or visible at the time, and for her do this amongst her peers both male and female was a huge accomplishment for her and So So Def. Because Outkast haven’t dropped yet and Deathrow was running the music industry along with the Wu Tang Clan, Nas, and Bad Boy was about to release Biggie’s Ready to Die. Even though Da Brat wasn’t from the south, but JD was so it felt like it was a victory for us as well.
It always felt Da Brat got overlooked whenever there’s a debate about female MC’s or top 100 list. She is a a true lyricists that does not get her just due. She can hold her own with any MC male or female, plus her ‘Give It 2 U” video probably had the best cameos in Hip Hop history.
RIP to Chris Kelly aka Mac Daddy of Kris Kross