Prairie Pop: Jump up and get down

Kris Kross
American rap duo Kris Kross (Chris Kelly and Chris Smith) are plyometrics experts.


Update (9:34 p.m.) We at LV are saddened by the passing of Chris Kelly of Kris Kross. We consider this month’s Prairie Pop a fitting tribute to the jumps he inspired.

[Editor’s Note: Kembrew McLeod’s two-year-old son, Alasdair, is sitting in for our regular Prairie Pop columnist this issue. Like many adult music critics, he likes to coin genre names, and lately Alasdair has been obsessed with “Jump Music.” When it comes to this musical style, his tastes veer more towards hip-hop and r&b-inflected dance pop—likely because they meet the functional requirement of inspiring him to jump up and down. The following is an exact transcript of Alasdair’s comments on Jump Music.]

It was Kris Kross’s number one hit “Jump” that first made me a fan of Jump Music, a genre that makes all other styles sound wiggity-wiggity-wiggity wack. One highlight is the song’s economical sampling of “I Want You Back,” in which teen producer Jermaine Dupri looped just three notes from that classic Jackson 5 song. I also like the repetitive minimalism of the stage names adopted by this kid-rap duo: Mac Daddy and Daddy Mac.

Alasdair’s Jump Music Top Ten

[list style=’plus-green’]
[list_item]Kris Kross “Jump”[/list_item]
[list_item] House of Pain “Jump Around” [/list_item]
[list_item]Destiny’s Child “Jumpin’ Jumpin'”[/list_item]
[list_item] R. Kelly “Pary Jumpin'”[/list_item]
[list_item]Basement Jaxx “Jump n’ Shout”[/list_item]
[list_item] House of Pain “Jump Around” [/list_item]
[list_item]LCD Soundsystem “Jump Into the Fire”[/list_item]
[list_item]Major Lazer “Jump Up”[/list_item]
[list_item]Sir Mix-A-Lot “Jump On It”[/list_item]
[list_item]Lil’ Kim “The Jump Off” [/list_item]
[list_item]The Pointer Sisters “Jump (For My Love)”[/list_item]

[button url=’’ size=’large’ style=’default’]DOWNLOAD[/button]

Jump Around” by House of Pain—or as I like to call them, “House of the Pain,” which is a way better band name—is the second best Jump Song ever. Ever! Aside from the chorus, “Jump up, jump up, and get down,” my favorite line is, “I got more rhymes than cops at a Dunkin’ Donuts shop.” Because, well, I like donuts very much. Very very much! However, I hate the misogyny in the line, “I’ll serve your ass like John McEnroe/If your girl steps to me I’m slapping your ho.” That’s not right, even if he was trying to be funny. We all came from our mommies, so we have to treat women with respect.

I don’t fully get the lyrical content of Destiny Child’s “Jumpin’ Jumpin’” (“it’s 11:30 and the club is jumpin’ jumpin’”). I’m not old enough to get into clubs, and I can’t stay up late, but I do like the beat. I feel the same about R. Kelly’s “Party Jumpin’,” which goes, “Let’s take some shots/Let’s celebrate … Let’s get this party jumpin’!” He glorifies drinking, which I don’t understand. I like to drink from my sippy cup as much as the next guy, but there’s no reason to be excessive about it—especially if it means getting your diaper changed more often.

“Jump ‘n Shout” by Basement Jaxx is a straight up banger. Aside from Kris Kross’s and House of Pain’s contributions to the jump music canon, this song makes me want to jump around the most. Its frenetic, almost avant-garde rhythms are super, and the song’s dancehall-style vocals remind me of Major Lazer’s totally fist-bumpin-n-pumpin’ “Jump Up.” LCD Soundsystem’s cover of “Jump Into the Fire” is the most rock-oriented song on this list, but its Krautrock-meets-Disco beat nevertheless made me poop my pants the first time I heard it.

I also really really liked Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Jump On it,” in part because I love learning and because it dropped some real geographic knowledge on my tush. The song is about how Sir Mix-A-Lot likes to party in different cities, and it begins with the MC name-checking Dallas, Austin and other places in Texas before moving on to different regions throughout the country. (“What’s up Little Rock, what’s up?/Little Rock, jump on it! Jump on it! … What’s up Tacoma, what’s up?”)

Dad will only let me listen to the censored version of Lil’ Kim’s “The Jump Off,” even though it is one of the least racy songs recorded by this foulmouthed lady rapper. I’m less turned off by the swear words than by her rampant celebration of consumerism in the song’s chorus (“This is for my peeps with the Bentleys, the Hummers, the Benz/Escalades, 23-inch rims”). Nevertheless, the Timbaland beats rock my little world!

For my last pick, I’m going waaaaay back in the day with the Pointer Sisters’ “Jump (For My Love)”—a 1984 song that is so old school it’s almost preschool! I mean, what did they have to do to listen to music back then, rub stones together? I don’t think I could live in a world without touch screens and instant access to streaming music. If I want to hear a very specific Jump Song, I WANNA HEAR IT NOW!

Stay informed.

Our editors are working around the clock to cover the COVID-19 crisis in Iowa. Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest in your inbox daily.


Lil Alasdair is the only music critic who can rock overalls with a doggie on the front and still be cool.

Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV »