DETROIT, Michigan - It was in the gritty, blue-collar city of Flint that Eric Breed grew up amid the dimming opportunities of a declining auto industry.
That starkness was vivid in the lyrics of what would be the rapper's biggest hit, 1991s Ain't No Future in Yo' Frontin.
Breed, known professionally as MC Breed, died last Saturday at a friend's home in Ypsilanti, about 48km southwest of Detroit, a Washtenaw County medical examiner's spokesman said. Toxicology reports were pending, but no foul play was suspected in the 37-year-old's death.
Breed had suffered from kidney failure, according to The Detroit News and The Flint Journal.
"More than just an artist, we mourn the loss of a beloved father, son, brother and friend," his family said in a statement.
"We are thankful and blessed to have been in his presence and want him to be remembered for his creative, caring, talented and hard working spirit."
Breed released 13 albums from 1991 to 2004, and collaborated with artists such as Tupac Shakur and Too Short.
Breed was a "musical legend of Flint", said Carter McWright, owner of local record store Music Planet.
"One thing about Breed is he had that flow, that rhythm. He knew how to flow with it."
Breed is survived by three daughters and two sons, hisparents, two brothers and a sister. - Sapa-AP