MC Breed / MC Breed & DFC

MC Breed & DFC

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MC Breed & DFC Review

by Jason Birchmeier

Few outside of the Midwest took notice back in 1991 when MC Breed debuted with da Flint Crew (DFC). At the time he was mostly a local phenomenon, stressing the word "phenomenon" because the Midwest didn't have many rappers to call its own at the time, let alone any as talented as Breed. Furthermore, few Midwest rappers had hits as big as "Ain't No Future in Yo' Frontin'," the song that put Breed on the map for years to follow and kept this album on the Billboard R&B charts for a year. With time, however, the Flint, MI, native would become one of the more impressive rappers to emerge in the '90s, eventually moving first to L.A. to hook up with D.O.C. and then Atlanta to hook up with Too $hort. And it's those later efforts with D.O.C. and Too $hort that generally garner the most attention among those who have familiarized themselves with Breed's funk-laced rap. However, it's a shame that so many listeners overlook Breed's debut, which eventually went out of print for many years before finally being remastered and re-released by Warlock in 2002. Yes, it's a relatively lo-fi effort, an independently released album during a time when few rap albums were. But there is a certain sense of novelty that makes MC Breed & DFC sound even more special with time. As mentioned, it's one of the first rap albums to come out of the Midwest, merging the then-opposing East and West Coast sounds of the time. For example, "Ain't No Future in Yo' Frontin'" samples Flavor Flav's trademark "to the beat ch'all" for its intro, Zapp's "More Bounce to the Ounce" for its bassline, and uses the whining synth melodies Dr. Dre made famous a year later on his Chronic album for its hook (and a snippet of this synth hook would be sampled a year later for Ice Cube's "Wicked"). Breed drew equally from East and West for his sound, being as much influenced by Too $hort and MC Eiht as Chuck D and EPMD. His later albums are no doubt more polished, but none of them are as pure as this, one of the few albums to vividly document the embryonic Midwest rap scene of the time.

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