By the time “It’s All Good” dropped MC Breed was already considered a veteran in the rap game. Like all veterans, fans questioned whether Breed still had another dope album in him or whether he could keep up with the times. Many fans had already written him off after the southern-influenced “Big Baller” and most fans will still maintain that Breed’s best work can be found on albums such as “20 Below,” “MC Breed & The DFC,” “The New Breed,” and “Funkafied.” No doubt Breed dropped some serious funk pre-1994, but in 1999 Breed showed the world he was in it for the long run. I have to admit my bias, this is my favorite Breed album partly because I “experienced” it more than any of his previous efforts. Musically, there was no denying the grooves on Breed’s first four CDs, but being younger when they dropped I didn’t jump on the Breed bandwagon until later. “It’s All Good” hit me when I finally had my ends right and could afford more than one CD every few months and a subscription to The Source. Before I learned of the ugly payola behind some of the ads in The Source, I assumed anyone with the budget to advertise in the bible of rap had to have a serious investment in the music. I still remember flipping through the pages and stopping to gaze in awe at MC Breed’s Pen & Pixel glory. There was Breed in a pimped out white suit with white gators standing in front of white Benzes and a white house with gold trim! Gold and diamonds lined his driveway and his fountain was full of hundred dollar bills! Indeed, if I lived that life it would be all good for me too! I was already sold, but seeing features from Too Short, Tupac, D.F.C., AND Pimp C guaranteed I would own the album.
The album kicks off with a funky blend of guitar and synth licks with Breed talking about doing it big independently. It sets the tone nicely for the next track, a funky, upbeat remix to Breed’s hit collaboration with 2Pac. I can’t say C. Wolfe’s remix is better or worse than the original as it keeps the same quality level. Some might say the inclusion of the remix was a cheap way to appeal to Pac fans after his death, but I can’t get enough of the original and remix. “Gangsta Shit” continues the funky vibes as C. Wolfe serves up a thick slab of southern fried goodness while MC Breed talks about his dedication to gangsta ways. “Tricks” features everyone’s favorite pimp, Too $hort, and production from Jazze Pha before he blew up. The track is a pimp’s anthem with Breed spitting straight game:
“I seen her dancing off in the club
What’s your name? Wouldn’t show a nigga love
Only the frame, Maybe If I was drinking Don
Instead of Hen, me and her would be out here having fun â€“ Balling!
Love to do the hustle when I ask around riches
I fucks with it like I’m Russell with nothing but model bitches
No disguise, I bet you recognize when I holler
Ain’t you Breed? Yep, bitch and that’s another twenty dollars”
MC Breed was unapologetic with his gangsta raps, but he did it in such a funky way there was no faulting him. “It’s All Good” was the pinnacle of funk, grooves, and gangsta shit as Jazze Pha delivered another top notch beat. Already using the thick and funky bass lines and chords he has become synonymous with, Jazze Pha laced a SMOOTH beat and hook. Breed seizes the opportunity with zeal:
“Trying to make a mill, get my live on a taste
Keep it real, build a crib right next door to Face
Theaters and elevators, a big time player like myself
So ghetto major, niggas love to hate you, won’t congratulate you
Only makes you want to count it out
Spin around they mind about a couple hundred thousand out
I bet them bastards shut they mouth
I’m bout paper man, the only thing I’ll ever chase
Goodie Mo told me so, get up, get out, get you a taste”
After an forgettable sex skit, Breed hits us up with two club tracks. “Work It From The Bottom” is a bare, bass heavy exercise in southern crunk and the album’s one forgettable track. “Let’s Go To Da Club” kicks things back in gear with a slow, but bumping, club track and intriguing verses from Erotic D. “Business Never Personal” finds C. Wolfe returning with a simple, but effective beat. The deep bassline and short sample allow Breed to take over the track and relate his hustle. “Rule No. 1” makes a run for the album’s best track thanks to an un-credited Kurupt appearance. I have no clue why Breed neglected to note the feature of one of the hottest young rappers at the time, but Kurupt drops a dope verse and hook. The Pimp C feature only makes the track doper. “Smoke Wit A Nigga” is also a standout track as Mr. KU joins Erotic D as an intriguing rapper/producer featured on the album. With a flow reminiscent of MJG, Mr. KU hangs with the vet and drops an up tempo smoking anthem. Erotic D returns on “Boom Boom” where he shows a skill for putting together deceptively laid back, but funky club tracks. Breed revels in an unapologetic sex tale.
Fond memories aside, I still to this day don’t realize why this album gets overlooked, both in Breed’s catalog and in the annals of rap music. Sure, on its surface the art work makes it seem like Breed had sold out to another trend, but in reality he made some of the funkiest music of 1999. At only 10 tracks (minus the intro and skit) it was a short, but potent, album that should have gotten much more exposure than it did. Thankfully, Breed continued making dope music well into the next decade and maintained his close relationship with Jazze Pha even after Pha blew up in a major way. For long time fans who somehow skipped over this release, there’s no better time to fill in your collection. Newer fans curious about a late great legend, I’d definitely recommend this CD but I’d point you towards Breed’s earlier work as well.