||An often-overlooked debut by Flint, Michigan MC Eric Breed, leader of DFC (Da Flint Crew, Dope Flint Connection, Da Funk Clan), who went on to collaborate with Tupac, Too Short, George Clinton, Slum Village, Jazzy Pha, Pimp C, Kurupt, The D.O.C., Hurricane (Beastie Boys), Amp Fiddler, Erick Sermon (EPMD), Bootleg (Dayton Family), and Esham. "MC Bred & The DFC” peaked at #142 on the Billboard 200, #38 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and #3 on Top Heatseekers, impressive for an independent debut. The single was also a radio hit, getting run from
KMEL in San Francisco to New York, leaving listeners hearing Breed’s
voice for the first time confused, unable to pin down his neutral accent,
Flavor Flav’s “to the beat, y’all” stabbing intermittently, and the West
Coast-flavored beat confusing matters further.
The album relies heavily on James Brown samples (“The Grunt”,
“Make It Funky”, “Funky Drummer”, “Funky President”), a can’t-miss
formula with Breed’s voice over the beat, but the standout single from
the album, “Ain’t No Future in Yo’ Frontin’”, a certified club anthem, is
an inspired take on two already-established sample sources (“Funky
Worm” and “More Bounce to the Ounce”), but flipping the Zapp tune
differently than listeners were accustomed to, providing a bass-heavy,
atonal, lazy and almost non-music backdrop for Breed’s lyrics, which in
turn ran a line between incisive, funky and a fast drawl, sounding like
an edgier Tone Loc, with apparent influence by EPMD or Audio Two.
The end result was the first Midwest-originated “hit” rap record, even
the sampled artists (Zapp and the Ohio Players) were from Ohio.
A surprisingly apt comparison is Cypress Hill’s self-titled sample-heavy
debut, also released in August 1991, both feature odes to marijuana,
utilize a then-emerging “dusted” sample style, feature audible clicks &
pops on their sample sources, and were the first major crossover
successes from their respective regions. And they’re both solid
albums, start to finish, with minimal guest features (none).
Breed died in 2008 from kidney failure, unexpectedly ending his
well-respected career at 12 albums, and after having paved the way for
other Midwest artists Eminem, Common, Slum Village, Bone Thugs &
Harmony, Proof, D12 and others.