Remembering MC Breed, A True Hip-Hop Pioneer

By Shaheem Reid & Sway Calloway

Legendary on the West Coast for solo classics such as “Ain’t No Future in Yo’ Frontin’” and collaborations with superstars such Tupac Shakur (“I Gotta Get Mine”), Flint, MI native MC Breed died Saturday, his publicist confirmed. He was 36 years old.

Breed was rushed to the hospital in early September for kidney failure. The rapper was on life support for two days before slightly recovering. In late September, he conducted a phone interview with his publicist Jonathan Hay where he talked about his health crisis.

“The doctor told me my kidney was insulted and stopped filtering what I was taking in,” Breed said at the time.

Breed also talked about coming with a new album, boasting his skills were as sharp as ever. Before he passed away, Breed was in the process of inking a deal with Ichiban Records, according to his camp. His rep also tells us Breed’s album was to be called “Mc Breed – The Original Swag” and had lined up features from Too-Short, Erotic D, Ant Banks and others. The D.O.C was also writing records with him.

Our very own Sway Calloway was a friend of Breed and definitely has fond memories of some of their interactions. Here, he gives a little insight to his buddy as an artist and person.

I can honestly say that no rapper at the time made more people aware of the Midwest than MX Breed. The songs “Future in Your Frontin” and “Gotta Get Mine” with Tupac exploded around the country like an e-mail blast! I played “Future in Your Frontin” every day on KMEL. People in the Bay initially thought he was from there! The Dr. Dre-styled beat was competitive with street anthems around the country, but his lyrical delivery had an early universal swagger. He talked about a region in this country that was still trying to break through. It was refreshing, and the video was an introduction to a new world. Breed was important to the evolution of the rap game because he proved that Midwest rappers can make hits and sell records. He put Flint on the map. Breed, Common, Twista, Crucial Conflict, Da Brat were some of the early pioneers to open doors for the Midwest. I’m glad I had a chance to interview him at a time when his career was first taking off. One more soldier to R.I.P.