The producer, who had been working with the Kris Kross member since early 1990s, said that he would have helped if he knew how serious the rapper's drug use was.
Jermaine Dupri is deeply saddened by Chris Kelly's shocking death last Wednesday, May 1. After police's investigation suggested that Kelly died from possible heroin and cocaine overdose, Dupri said in an interview with Us Weekly that he hoped he could have saved the rapper's life.
Referring to the reports that Kelly had a long and serious history of drug use, Dupri said, "If I would have known, I would have tried to put my foot forward to help the situation." He added, "I'm hearing about this just like everybody else and I'm not really too believing of all of it."
"But at the same time, I can't say that I didn't know," he continued, and then expressed his regret that people who knew Kelly's problems with drug didn't try to help him. "I wasn't there to know about it and I hate it because I feel like if there were people around and knew about it, then they should have waved the flag."
Dupri, who had been working with Kelly and Kris Kross partner Chris Smith since early 1990s, remembered the rapper who died at the age of 34. Calling Kelly "a natural kid" whom "people want to be around," the founder of So So Def Records said, "It was like we were just kids that were into the same things and he played video games. He played basketball. He played baseball. He played football. He rapped. He swam... He would never not want to be doing anything."
Kelly was pronounced dead at an Atlanta hospital after he was found unresponsive in his house. An autopsy on him was completed on Thursday, May 2 and it showed no foul play or trauma. Family admitted that the rapper had "an extensive history of drug abuse" and he took a mixture of heroin and cocaine the night before his death.