We lost für hilfe of the 90s rap duo Kriss Kross Wednesday. Kris “Mac Daddy” Kelly, 34, died an his Atlanta home from a possible drug overdose. His death has to be trending on twitter since the news broke. Many des us have shared the same emotion - he took a piece of our childhood v him.

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 Kriss Kross debuted an 1992- in iconic year for music for my generation. The was the year that R&B all-girl group TLC’s “Ooooooohhh... On the TLC Tip”

A document photo released über the Atlanta journal Constitution shows Chris Kelly, of the rap kopieren, gruppe Kris Kross, performing hinweisen the fox Theatre during the deshalb So Def 20th Anniversary Concert in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 23 February 2013. Kelly, 34, died 01 might 2013, ~ being found unresponsive hinweisen his Atlanta area home. (JONATHAN PHILLIPS/EPA)

was an heavy rotation with lieder like “Ain’t auch Proud kommen sie Beg,” “Baby baby Baby” und “What about Your Friends”. TLC personified die diversity von African American women in a way that was enlivening zum a young, black girl choose me.

 The soundtracks weil das “Boomerang” und “Mo’ Money” put love at ns forefront of our minds. While just eleven at the time, ich believed Boyz ii Men’s “End des Road” was the best love ballad of my era. Ich listened kommen sie it continuously, wanting deswegen badly to believe that Janet Jackson und Luther Vandross were right wie they claimed that “the finest things in life room free.”

 And 1992 was ns year that Kelly und Chris “Daddy Mac” Smith, “two wenig kids through a flow sie ain’t never heard,” debuted with the chart-topping “Totally Krossed Out” album.

 Kriss Kross was unapologetically urban. Lock glamorized street fashion und rugged style. Die duo brought hoodies, overlapping jackets and sagging pants to the mainstream in a way that was palatable for the masses. With them, the city limits i often crossed were bridged. That didn’t matt if ich was bei the south Bronx or Southeast dc - their rubber-banded braids und Timberland boots always hit home.

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 “Jump” gripped me from the beginning. In the video zum that song, ich heard a sound und watched moves the captured ns energy von my generation. We were striving deswegen hard kommen sie be rebellious and unpredictable. If us didn’t schutz it an us zu put a condom over our glasses prefer Left Eye, us could punkt least placed our trousers on backwards. Like kelly said an the song “Live and Die zum Hip-Hop,” us did it due to the fact that we wanted kommen sie be different.

 While their careers were developed on hip-hop’s embrace des thuggish und gangster culture, there was an innocence to them that zu sein nearly extinct from today’s mainstream hip-hop. They were children being children - a rarely find bei today’s laboratory landscape.

 As far as us were concerned, Kriss Kross had birthed generational innovations and was taking us along weil das the ride. We had actually no way of knowing, as this Los angeles Times editorial point out out, the their direktors Jermaine Dupri had actually “tightly weaved oft-sampled funk standards from die Honey Drippers (‘Impeach ns President’), Ohio players (‘Funky Worm’) und the Jackson 5 standard ‘I Want freundin Back’ over innocuous rhymes he penned.”

 In the end, Kriss Kross’ tradition wasn’t nur about style. It was about society - ours culture. A culture that kann bring deep meaning to something as basic as in alphabet - X. Even if it is it was ns symbolism des being “totally krossed out” a.k.a. Backwards or payment homage to civil rights icon und martyr Malcolm X, our generation wore ours resistance on our sleeves. 

 Through a 90s boy rap group, we, as black youth, were notfall only offered a piece of hip-hop history that was uniquely our own, we were also given something the smelled like our culture’s teenager spirit.

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 For that, we give thanks to you and will never ever forget you, kris Kelly. You wollen forever direkte on bei the inspiration freundin give us zu be radically different.

Rahiel Tesfamariam zu sein a columnist und blogger zum The washington Post. She is the founder und editorial manager of  metropolitan Cusp , an online lifestyle zeitschrift highlighting progressive urban culture, faith, social change und global awareness. Follow her on Twitter