Chris Smith attended Chris Kelly's funeral at Jackson Baptist Memorial Church on Thursday afternoon, May 9. Being supported by his sister at the podium, Smith, who was wearing his pants backwards in tribute to Kelly, was shaken and weeping when talking about his Kris Kross partner.
"This has been a struggle for me every day," Smith began. "But there was a peace that came over me this morning because I know he's in heaven." He turned to Kelly's mother, Donna Kelly Pratte, and said, "Donna, you've always been like a mother to me. I know I can't fill Chris' shoes, but I'll always be there for you."
"He was a true friend... I just wanna say I love you, man... and I'm gonna miss you dearly," Smith continued. "I would say Kris Kross forever, but without Chris, it ain't never gonna be the same. But I hope our legacy for hip-hop is never forgotten, but I'm gonna do my part to make sure Chris' memory lives on."
Rapper Da Brat and producer who discovered Kris Kross in early 1990s, Jermaine Dupri, also wore their pants backwards when attending the funeral. "He just wanted to smile. That's all he wanted," said Xscape's Tamika Scott. "He was known to be a happy person."
Mother Pratte was also weeping while continuously staring at her son's casket. "Please don't close it. Please don't close it on my baby," she screamed when the deacons were about to close the coffin.
Kelly died at 34 from possible heroin and cocaine overdose on Wednesday, May 1. A public viewing was held at Murray Brothers Funeral Home, Atlanta, on Wednesday, May 8 with hundreds of family members and friends attending.