Eight years ago today MC Breed, one of the first commercially successful and nationally recognized rappers from the Midwest, passed away at age 37 due to kidney failure. Breed had been hospitalized for the same condition after collapsing at a basketball game and was briefly placed on life support.
Eric Breed, born on June 12, 1971, began his career in Flint, Michigan. In 1991, when he released his debut album with Da Flint Crew, “MC Breed & DFC,” rappers from the Midwest were still novelties, but Breed’s lyrical prowess and songwriting talents helped him gain nationwide attention. The lead single from that album, “Ain’t No Future in Yo Frontin’,” became his biggest hit.
Shortly after the album’s release, Breed moved to Atlanta, where the label he recorded with, Ichiban, was based. Quickly, his house and studio became a hotbed for local talent, where emerging producers like Jazze Pha and established stars like Too Short would gather to play video games and record music.
“If you took Breed out of the equation, there are many careers that never would have happened,” Too Short said in an interview at the time.
On later albums, MC Breed moved toward a funk-driven sound as evidenced with his 1993 album, “The New Breed,” where he worked with the West Coast rap pioneer the D.O.C. During much of the 90’s MC Breed was in high demand as a collaborator. A collaboration with Tupac Shakur led to the single “Gotta Get Mine,” which was produced by Warren G and became a hit in 1993. In that same year he also appeared, alongside Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, on a song with Parliament Funkadelic legend George Clinton called, “Paint the White House Black.” He frequently collaborated with Too Short on several songs like “Ain’t Nothing Like Pimpin'”, “We Do This” featuring 2Pac & Father Dom, “Fuck My Car”, “Buy You Some” featuring Erick Sermon, and “Never Talk Down” featuring Rappin’ 4-Tay to name a few.
Before his sudden passing, Breed was working on a new album titled The Original Breed: Swag Heavy, which was intended to be released through his former label, Ichiban Records. Although the project was still in development, Breed had been working with producers Erotic D, Ant Banks, Jazze Pha, Sonji Mickey, Shorty B, and Colin Wolfe, as well as rappers the D.O.C., Spice 1, and Too Short. Breed stated the album was half finished in September 2008 when he was released from the hospital after being on life support for two days.
We miss you Breed!