Mon Nov 24, 1:17 pm ET
YPSILANTI, Mich. – 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, 1991's "Ain't No Future in Yo' Frontin'."
Breed, known professionally as MC Breed, died Saturday at a friend's home in Ypsilanti, about 30 miles southwest of Detroit, a Washtenaw County medical examiner's spokesman said Monday.
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 hardworking spirit."
Breed released 13 albums from 1991 to 2004, and collaborated with artists such as Tupac Shakur and Too Short.
He moved to Atlanta in the 1990s, but always identified with his tough Flint roots.
The lyrics from "Ain't No Future in Yo' Frontin'" included: "I'm from F-l-i-n-t'n. A city where pity runs low. If you ever shoot through my city, now you know. Cause we are strictly business and we also got our pride, and if you don't like it, I suggest you break wide."
The single was from his first album, "MC Breed & DFC," which sold between 2.5 million to 4 million copies.
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," McWright said. "He knew how to flow with it."
Funeral arrangements were being completed Monday in Flint.
Breed is survived by three daughters and two sons; his parents; two brothers; and a sister.