The worlds of hip-hop and hopscotch collided at the Greek Theatre on Thursday night, as the preteen set's current idols, the two members of Kris Kross, rapped their way through a short set of catchy beats and rhymes with all the verve and stage savvy of men three times their age and twice their height.
The Atlanta duo, 13-year-old Chris Smith, known as Daddy Mack on the 3-million-selling "Totally Krossed Out" album, and 14-year-old Chris Kelly (Mack Daddy) are as much about style and fashion as music. Shirts, pants and baseball caps are supposed to be worn backward, and the Lil' Boys From Da Hood hammered home the importance of the "Krossed-out" look to their act by donning five such outfits during the show--that's one change every 10 minutes.
Dancing to the beat of a different drum machine was too much for some of the hordes of kids in the audience, groups of whom would rush to the restrooms periodically to twist recalcitrant jeans and T-shirts around Kris Kross-style.
As for the music side of the Kris Kross equation, the fabulously infectious singles "Jump" and "Warm It Up," as well as the rest of the "Krossed Out" album, were performed precisely as they are on record. But disc can't capture the warmth and sly sex appeal the duo exuded on stage, despite--or perhaps because of--their tender age. They strutted and danced with the eager-to-please energy that dissipates in most of us by the time we're old enough to have Krossed-out kids of our own.
Opener M. C. Lyte delivered a disappointing set of ploddingly performed raps, appreciated by the crowd mostly for their anyone-can-do-this accessibility.
The same bill was scheduled to play Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre on Friday.