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Jermaine Dupri: Kris Kross' Chris Kelly 'Was a Son I Never Had'

Kris Kross producer and others in the music community react to rapper's death

Chris 'Mac Daddy' Kelly and Chris 'Daddy Mac' Smith of Kris Kross.
Steve Eichner/Getty Images
May 2, 2013 10:55 AM ET

Jermaine Dupri was just 19 when he discovered pint-sized hip-hop duo Kris Kross in Atlanta – not all that much older than Chris "Mac Daddy" Kelly and Chris "Daddy Mac" Smith were. Word yesterday of Kelly's death at 34, of a suspected drug overdose, hit Dupri like a death in the family. 

"To the world Chris was Mac Daddy but to me, he was a son I never had," wrote Dupri, who produced their debut, Totally Krossed Out, which included the number one hit, "Jump." "His understanding of what we set out to do, from day one, was always on point," Dupri continued. "His passion for the music, his love for doing shows, his want to better than everyone else, was always turnout up."

Read on to see the reactions to Kelly's death from members of the music community including Ludacris, Nicki Minaj, Questlove and Big Boi.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

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