Rembert Explains the ’90s: ‘Warm It Up’ by Kris Kross

Vevo Kris Kross

Welcome to our new series, Rembert Explains the ’90s. Unlike the source material for our previous, ’80s-themed series, these videos have been seen countless times, with the result being an unparalleled, almost embarrassing level of expertise. Rembert will write down his thoughts as he’s watching the video, then we’ll post those thoughts here. This week’s installment, “Warm It Up” by Kris Kross (1992), was selected in light of the passing of Chris Kelly. If you have an idea for a future episode of Rembert Explains the ’90s, e-mail us at

0:01 Yes.

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And no, I’m not talking about the outfits. My thoughts only concern the diagonal camera shot.


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0:09 I love an Earth where this guy almost married Janet Jackson.

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0:13 If you’re wondering why “Warm It Up” was picked over “Jump,” it’s because this video has six of the most glorious backward athletic chic outfits. Ever. Number 1:

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The black and baby-blue Carolina jerseys are incredible. Also, shout out to them for picking a side in the Tobacco Road turf war.

0:27 NOT.

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No one has ever worn Carolina and Duke gear 15 seconds apart. This blatant disregard for loyalty, like most things, reminds me of a Chappelle bit:

0:29 While not the stars of the video, the unsung hero of this clip is the “Warm It Up Kris Goon Squad” in the background.

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Truly majestic beach wear.

0:37 Chris and Chris were cool, but also complete weirdos. You know, the way all 14-year-old boys are.

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You can’t choreograph that.

0:42 Never overlook the acrobatics displayed by the background chanters/dancers.

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You’re born with those gifts. They can’t be taught.

0:48 Wearing pants backward is terribly uncomfortable, as so many of us learned during this time period, which makes Mac Daddy’s claim of “my pants to the back, that’s my everyday uniform” extremely impressive.

0:59 I can’t believe I never noticed one of those guys had a megaphone.

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1:01 Legendary outfit no. 3: the Athletics getup.

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I’ll never fully understand how they danced so well with their backward pants not falling down. Another thing I’ll never understand:

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1:09 It’s a tough call about which is better: them pretending to drive, or the car going backward? Feel free not to pick a winner, however, and simply enjoy both as gifts.

1:50 Perfect outfit no. 4: The LAKERS.

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Also, look at Chris (Kelly)’s chain. Even if it was fake, it must have weighed one-fourth of his body mass.

2:05 Imagine pulling up at a red light and seeing this in the next lane:

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It would be very confusing, especially when the light turned green and they started going backward while alternating rapping the “I’m about to” and “That’s what I was born to do” parts. Very confusing.

2:14 If you think wearing backward clothes is awkward, try doing it while playing basketball:

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Kids in the early ’90s tried all of these things, as did I, and to this date the only two humans to look cool while doing them were Chris and Chris. No one came close. No one.

2:50 Legendary backward athletic chic outfit no. 5: THE FIGHTING ILLINI.


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Every time I’m at a party in a parking lot that has fires billowing out of barrels, I think back to this video.

3:02 Wow. Almost made it out of this video without acknowledging a great distinguishing characteristic of Chris Smith.

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The chopped up eyebrows.

I wanted to do it. But I didn’t. But I wanted to.


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They were right. The backs, when given slack, were the best. Every time.


Filed Under: Rembert Explains

Rembert Browne is a staff writer for Grantland.

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