Totally Krossed Out

I am the kind of person that once I hear a song that I like I like it forever. Even if it is over played on the radio and I feel like committing a Picasso if I have to hear it for the 18th time in an hour I still end up tapping my foot and singing along. This is weather a song is a day or a century old. Sometimes the songs do age badly. That 80s synthesizer obsession doesn’t bode too well today but that just makes the songs even more fun.

So yesterday, as I went to lunch, I sat in the car and I was on the phone with Cory. I put the key in and the radio came on. I was suddenly overwhelmed with an urge to do the cabbage patch and the running man. “Jump” by Kris Kross was on the radio. I think I actually squealed a bit. And I started to sing along.

Cory was, lets say, disgusted. No, that is too harsh. How about appalled? No, how about sickened? No still too harsh. How about aghast? That sounds good. Anyways, Cory was aghast, not just at my singing, but how excited I was about the song. He laughed at chastised me for it. But I didn’t care. He asked, “How could you like that?”

But how can you not like Kris Kross? The 13 year-olds became a music sensation in 1992 with the release of “Jump” and their backwards clothes (a style that thankfully never caught on). Chris “Daddy Mack” Smith and Chris “Mack Daddy” Kelly were raking in the dough when most kids their age were still playing with dolls and hot wheels. It was amid the grunge / gangstra rap era that was all the rage with the late teens and 20-somethings and the re-birth of the Mickey Mouse Club, that spawned a generation of pop stars, that was popular with the under 10 crowd. But Kris Kross appealed to the pre- and early-teens.

They weren’t like the young hip-hop acts of today. They didn’t rap about bling, tappin’ that, or cussing. They rapped about dancing, being cool, and missing the bus. They were light, fun, and their beats were simple and infectious. It made them relatable and they just blew up the music scene. Their single “Jump” stayed at the top of the Billboards Charts for 8 weeks and “Totally Krossed Out” sold more than 4 million copies.

I know now a days that doesn’t seem very impressive. But at that time kids didn’t make money in music. It was all movies and TV. There was no Lil-Bow Wow, or Lil-Romeo, or Miley Sirus, and it was well past the time of the Jackson 5 or the Osmonds, so what they did was phenomenal.

So Cory, does that answer your question? All I am saying is that they were awesome and their music hasn’t lost its touch. And it is not nice to tease people just because they like something classic. Just because it isn’t Chuck Berry, Jimmy Hendrix, or NWA doesn’t mean it isn’t worth listening to.


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