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Totally Krossed Out

Kris Kross

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Album Review

Totally Krossed Out, the debut album by kiddie-rap sensations Kris Kross, is so tailored to a particular audience in a particular time period that it's nearly impossible to judge by any objective standard. So let's try anyway. Producer Jermaine Dupri — still a teenager himself — wrote all the songs here, and he delivers a catchy, pop-friendly batch of tracks that manage to stay pretty consistently engaging (perhaps in part because they are short). The album's interview intro disses playground rivals Another Bad Creation (that would have been a great hip-hop feud) before segueing into the irresistible smash "Jump" (oh, just try and listen to it without smiling, you heartless grinch). Actually, the miggeda-miggeda-mack bit proves they're not bad rappers, if they're able to borrow technique from Das EFX — though they don't keep it up, if for no other reason than that kids want to understand the words to songs they like. And "Warm It Up" is nearly as good. Some of the album tracks are lyrically generic, but the story song "Party" finds Chris and Chris trying to sneak into a club to meet girlies. There are some surprisingly serious notes struck on "Lil' Boys in da Hood" and "A Real Bad Dream," which paint the duo as knowing street kids who are all too aware of the dangers they could easily fall into. There's nothing terribly frightening, but it's more realistic than the innocent bubblegum you might expect. Of course, then there's the self-explanatory "I Missed the Bus." But overall, Totally Krossed Out isn't nearly as obnoxious or cutesy as adults might fear — even if the lads' MC boasts just make you want to pat them on the head.

Biography

Formed: 1991 in Atlanta, GA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Thirteen-year-old rappers Chris "Daddy Mack" Smith and Chris "Mack Daddy" Kelly became the pop sensations of 1992 as Kris Kross. The two were discovered at an Atlanta mall in 1991 by then-19-year-old producer Jermaine Dupri, who took them under his wing and came up with the gimmick of having the duo wear all of their clothing backwards, lending more significance to their name. Thanks in part to savvy marketing, "Jump," which sampled the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back," became the fastest-selling single...
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Totally Krossed Out, Kris Kross
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