The passing of Chris "Mac Daddy" Kelly has been felt through out the hip-hop community. Many rappers and artists have already expressed their sorrow over Chris' death, one of them, Jermaine Durpi, was particularly close with the rapper.

Jermaine Durpi is responsible for discovering the Kris Kross duo, and thus worked closely with them over many years. He released a heartfelt open letter about Chris' passing this morning.

Dupri explained how Chris was basically a son to him, "To the world Chris was MacDaddy but to me, he was a son I never had. As much as you may think I taught him, he taught me. God has blessed me to be in the presence of so many naturally talented people, and Chris was one."

He continued, "His understanding of what we set out to do, from day one was always on point. His passion for the music, his love for doing shows, his want to [be] better than everyone else, was always turnt up. When I think about it, I spent more time with Chris and chris than damn near anybody in my whole life, so you can imagine how bad this hurts."

Read his full letter in the gallery above, which he posted on his Global14 site (via).

[Update: Following Jermaine Dupri's letter to Kris Kross fans, So So Def issues a statement on Chris Kelly's passing.]

So So Def, the record label founded by Jermaine Dupri and Chris Kelly's mother, which housed Kris Kross, released a statement concerning the death of Chris "Mac Daddy." 

Although no cause of death has been determined at this time, it has been reported that it may have to due with Chris' use of a cocaine/heroin mixture.

Read the statement below. 

It is with deep sadness that we announce that our beloved Chris Kelly has passed away on May 1. To millions of fans worldwide, he was the trendsetting, backwards pants-wearing one-half of Kris Kross who loved making music. But to us, he was just Chris – the kind, generous and fun-loving life of the party. Though he was only with us a short time, we feel blessed to have been able to share some incredible moments with him. His legacy will live on through his music, and we will forever love him.”– Donna Kelly Pratte (mother) & The So So Def Family