I had another post in mind for this morning. However, with the passing of Chris Kelly of Kris Kross I have to write about this. Kris Kross like a lot of current adults of my generation, Kris Kross was a big part of growing up in the early 90’s. A couple of months ago when Chris Kelly and Chris Smith reunited for So So Def’s 20th Anniversary concert, we all got excited for that set and a small part of us hoped for maybe one more new song just because. It’s an extremely unfortunate thing to happen being that he was only 34 years old and in his young life dealing with the stresses of the music business and his bout with leukemia. My prayers are with his family and loved ones.
How does this fit in to a blog about parenting? This is a part of my childhood. My fond memories of my innocence make me want to create an environment that will allow my child to have similar ones that she can look back at as an adult. When my sister and I were about nine years old, my mother took us to a Kriss Kross concert at Westbury Music Fair. We had no idea where we were going. My mother just said it was a surprise. It was us and a friend from church, Monique. We didn’t know where we were until we got inside and saw all of the merchandise on sale with Kriss Kross on it. As the show began (With an incredible opening set by the Pharcyde), all of the kids at the show would start dancing in the aisles. As the show progressed, all of us would get closer and closer to the stage. Westbury Music Fair is a venue in which the stage is a circle in the middle. So everywhere around the stage were kids rocking out. Security was trying to get us all back to our seats. My mother being who she is showed us how to sneak past security and get as close as possible to dance by the stage. Doing that we ran into another good friend from church, Philliph who was also at the show. For many of us, that was our first rap concert.
Childhood inspires imagination. Imagination leads to actions. Actions lead to opened doors. My twin sister and I had big imaginations. We had been performing in some kind of capacity since we were born. Around second grade, my sister and I wanted to be Kris Kross. We used to play our favorite songs from Totally Krossed Out and Da Bomb and we would pretend to be them. Being that my sister is light skinned and I am brown, She was Chris Smith and I was Chris Kelly. We would rap their parts in the songs, go back and forth, wear our clothes backwards, and go HARD in our mirror with our clothes on backwards. One of those days, we decided that we too were going to be our own rap group: Double Dose. For a good week, we couldn’t wait to get home, write raps, and practice. We were gonna be large! After that week was over, we went back to being kids who did other things to play.
For me, the seed was planted. I would write one or two raps every once in a while. When I was twelve, I took a marble composition notebook my mother had around the house, and that’s when I began writing raps for real. They started off terribly! But eventually doing so lead to learning how to do production, introduced me to the music business, learn how to think quickly on my toes saying clever things in my freestyle battle days, made lifelong friends, and even attracted Timile to me. The more I showed I was serious about being in the music business, the more my father who was in it fostered that. My father saw that something as a child I took a liking to turned somewhat into a career and a pretty decent hustle. That door was opened by “Don’t try to compare us to a Bad Little Fad/I’m the Mac and I’m bad/Give ya somethin’ that ya never had/” Whatever comes along for my daughter that captivates her imagination I want to do that for her like my parents did for me through “Two little kids with a flow that you never heard.”