Release Date: 03.21.92
Record label: Ruff House / Columbia
Genre(s): Rap, Hip-Hop, R&B, etc.
Some Of Them Try To Rhyme, But They Can't Rhyme Like This
by: bill aicher
1992 was an interesting time. Grunge music had only just begun to take hold as a popular music style as 80's hair metal was on its way out. During this transitional phase many people found themselves searching for a musical style to embrace. And amidst all this upheaval, pop music was only just beginning to include hip-hop influences. Still, the taste of gangster rap and the violent image it had given rap and hip-hop music in general had yet to dissipate from our mouths.
Above all, Kriss Kross's debut Totally Krossed Out became a cultural phenomenon. Featuring songs written by none other than hip-hop icon Jermaine Dupri, Krossed offered the music-consuming public an image of hip-hop that was rough enough to sound as if it came from the streets, but since this was a group of 12-year-olds (and the fact that some people had standards) the rapping featured one major absence: profanity.
Laugh if you will, but there's no denying Kriss Kross's importance in the genesis of rap and hip-hop and its rise to the popularity it enjoys today. With catchy hooks and tracks like "Warm It Up Chris," "Jump," and "I Missed the Bus" an entire generation of pre and early teens were introduced to a sound they may never have heard otherwise. It was parent-friendly and (at its time) cool to listen to.
To the naysayers, I say this: before you simply dismiss Kriss Kross and their backward-clothes gimmick as nothing more than a phenomenon that never should have happened, go back and put the disc in your player. There's a reason these "two little kids with a flow you ain't never heard" are still present in the backs of all our minds. They knew what they were doing, they were a fresh sound for the most of us and, face it, when you were 12 years old they were the coolest kids you knew. 05-Aug-2002 8:21 AM