May 2, 2013
Dear friends in Music,
Not sure why I am writing this but when my heart aches, I like to write down my thoughts. Last night we learned of the passing of 90s hit group member Chris Kelly (dark skin Chris 🙂 of Kris Kross. When my dear friend Lisa Pope (also one of Chris’ BEST friends in this world) texted me, it felt like it was a dream. I knew she kept in touch with him on a regular basis. Last year she brought him to one of my ATL Live shows and I was soooo happy to see him. We then ran back into each other this past February at Kiss 104.1 with Art Terrell. He was there to promote the So So Def 20th Anniversary show and I was there to talk ish about my Falcons going to the NFC Championship. It was like OLD times, we caught up, laughed and talked about the show. You see, I spent a great amount of time with JD and Kris Kross back when we were all were on the “come up.” I used to take Chris to studio, etc and we all played silly games and kicked it like family. I remember wearing my pants backwards when I went to Syracuse for college telling everyone on campus how BIG these guys were gonna be. I played their song on my college radio show and loved every minute of seeing my hometown crew blowing up! Now that we all are older and life has moved on THIS happened. Where was the lost time? Why hadn’t we properly caught up before this year? Why didn’t I reach out more?
I know we cannot blame ourselves for living our lives and handling our business, but I hate when we all get back together when someone passes away! Thank God for Facebook as it does help some of us stay in touch on a regular. But if there is someone you love or someone that you spent a tremendous amount of time around back in the day, why not write a letter or place a phone call TODAY? See how they are doing and even if they don’t respond, at least you did your part to check in. I don’t wanna have regrets when I get phone calls about someone being sick or passing away. Just as when my good friend Shakir Stewart passed or Wayne Brown and so on and so on. As we know life is short, so if someone crosses your mind let them know at that very moment (text, call, tweet, email etc). Tell them how you feel and how much they mean to you. Sometimes the entertainment business can be so self-serving BUT there are some genuinely good folks in it. Most of us have good intentions but those intentions sometimes aren’t easily noticed. The music biz is like this fraternity that you will forever be a part of….Music Phi Music, lol. We work hard, play hard and love hard. And when we do get back together, it’s like no time has passed at all. There is a cool group now on Facebook called the Music Industry Family Reunion. I am proposing that we do a real family reunion once a year in ATL. Let’s throw a 2013 version of my Southernplayalistic cookout that we did for Outkast back in ’94. It was a good ole time. We need MORE of those good ole times with the peers and friends we love.
I will end by saying thank you to Chris Kelly for his contributions to music and to our lives. And to all those we have lost in the creative community, I salute you as well. Yes life is short but let’s stay connected, let’s celebrate each other while here and let’s live life with NO Regrets. Peace & love y’all. – Shanti ‘Shoestring” Das