Eric Tyrone Breed (12 June 1971 - 22 November 2008), better known by his stage name MC Breed, was an American rapper and record producer from Flint, Michigan. He is best known for his 1990 debut single "Ain't No Future in Yo' Frontin'" and his 1993 2Pac collaboration "Gotta Get Mine".
Breed is known as the first commercially successful rapper to come out of the Midwest. Throughout his career, he would align himself with different hip hop scenes; early in his career he aligned himself with the West Coast, taking on more of a G-funk sound and befriending West Coast rappers Tupac Shakur and Too Short. However, he later associated himself with the Dirty South image with the release of 1995's Big Baller.
Breed died of kidney failure during his sleep.
Early life[edit | edit source]
Born in Flint, Michigan, Breed began his hip hop career as a beatboxer for a Flint rap group, Kid Blast and the Task Force, while a student at Northwestern High School in the 1980s. His biggest musical influence was Heavy D. At age 15, Breed moved to Atlanta to get his start in the hip hop business, but continued to move back and forth between the South and his hometown.
Career[edit | edit source]
1991-1995: Beginnings and commercial success[edit | edit source]
Shortly after the album's release, Breed relocated to Atlanta, where the label he recorded with, Ichiban, was based. He released his solo debut 20 Below in 1992. 1993's The New Breed featured a G-funk sound, and a guest appearance from Tupac Shakur, who Breed had met by chance at a tattoo parlour. The album also featured production work by The D.O.C., Warren G and Colin Wolfe.
During this period, Breed was in high demand as a collaborator. He worked with Too $hort on several albums, both as a rapper and a ghostwriter. In 1993, Breed made an appearance alongside Ice Cube and Dr. Dre on the George Clinton song "Paint the White House Black". Breed released his highest charting album, Funkafied, in 1994, which peaked at #106 on the Billboard Hot 200.
1996-2008: Later career, legal problems and health issues[edit | edit source]
Breed released two albums with Wrap Records - 1996's To Da Beat Ch'all and 1997's Flatline - to fulfil his contract with the label. In 1998, Breed signed a deal with Power Records, which had distribution through Roadrunner Records, and released the album, It's All Good, in 1999. A compilation album entitled 2 for the Show was released later that year. In 2000, he starred in the straight-to-video movie, Dollar, and released a soundtrack for it. Breed also released another album later that year, The Thugz, Vol. 1, which featured Too Short, Richie Rich, Bootleg and others. It would end up being his last release with Power Records.
In 2001, he released his twelfth studio album, The Fharmacist, with a new independent label based out of Detroit called Fharmacy Records. The album featured the Jazze Pha produced hit, "Let's Go To The Club", and a guest appearance by Bootleg of The Dayton Family. The album liner notes advertised many upcoming releases, including a collaboration album between Breed and Bootleg under the group name "Flintstones", and a movie starring Breed with an accompanying soundtrack titled Got To Get Mine. However, no other releases came to fruition, and Fharmacy Records soon ended.
Breed re-emerged in 2004 with a new deal through Urban Music Zone Entertainment to release his new album The New Prescription. The album was released in August of that year, but didn't receive much promotion. A music video was made for the album's only single, "Rap Game".
On 11 May 2006, Breed was sentenced to one year in prison for violating probation in failure to pay over $200,000 in child support. On 3 April 2008, Breed was arrested in Flint, Michigan following an in-store autograph signing session for warrants for about $220,000 in unpaid child support.
On 5 September 2008, Breed was hospitalised and placed on life-support after he collapsed when his kidneys failed during a game of pickup basketball. He remained in hospital on life support for two days, before being released.
Death[edit | edit source]
On 22 November 2008, Breed died in his sleep while at a friend's house in Ypsilanti, Michigan. His funeral was attended by 200 friends and family members. The D.O.C. and Jazze Pha were among the attendants.
Before his sudden passing, Breed was preparing to release a DVD documentary about his life entitled Where Is MC Breed? He was also working on a new album, titled The Original Breed: Swag Heavy. Although the project was still in development, Breed had turned to many of his friends to help with the album, such as producers Erotic B, Ant Banks, Jazze Pha and Colin Wolfe, as well as rappers The D.O.C., Spice 1 and Too Short. Breed stated that the album was half finished in September 2008 after he was released from hospital. Breed had recorded his last song two days before his death, which was a song with Outlawz entitled "Everyday I Wait".