Kris Kross

Da Bomb

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With as much exposure as Kris Kross got, it was perhaps inevitable that the backlash would be quick in coming. With a heavily preteen audience, it was also inevitable that their fans would have moved on by the time they issued a follow-up, even if that follow-up came only a year later. Perhaps it wasn't inevitable, but that's the way it worked out for Da Bomb. The MCs' voices have already changed, but not enough to really reinvent them for a more mature audience or give them street appeal. Yet there's evidence that they're trying: They're allowed to use the word "niggas" this time around, and both "Sound of My Hood" and "I'm Real" sample vocal snippets from Dr. Dre's The Chronic. Not that Kris Kross has gone hardcore by any means; it seems more like producer Jermaine Dupri was hoping for an instant signifier of street credibility. A more important problem with Da Bomb is that there are no singles as instantly indelible as "Jump" or "Warm It Up," and this kind of album lives or dies by its singles. Whatever the ultimate reason, Da Bomb failed to duplicate the pop phenomenon of Totally Krossed Out. Although ten years on, you have to wonder how the album would have done if they'd had the patronage of a gangsta rapper and a budding movie career.

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