MC Breeze aka Joey B Ellis, Sage (Stallones son), Sylvester Stallone and Tynetta Hare at the premiere of Rocky V in Los Angeles November 1991
“How can you talk about Philadelphia (rap music) without talking about M.C. Breeze? How are you going to go from Schooly D to Jazzy Jeff? You can't. He's the link in the chain.” -- Philly Rap Pioneer Schooly D.
Today's rap fans may not be aware of the pioneering accomplishments of West Philadelphia's M.C. Breeze. He was one of the first rappers to release music on his own label (Breeze Records); he was the first M.C. to have a record banned from Philadelphia Radio (“Discombobulatorbubulator”) and he was the subject of immense local pride when he was tapped to write and perform the theme song to fellow Philly Boy Sylvester Stallone's movie, “Rocky V,” under the name Joey B. Ellis.
A winner of this year's Philadelphia Music Conference's Urban Legends Award (previous winners include DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Lady B, Schooly D and Jocko Henderson, among others), Breeze is also a bright, articulate and multitalented entertainer who's been around since the birth of Hip Hop in Philadelphia.
“Of all the Old School Philly Rappers, Breeze most represents this city,” says filmmaker Mike D on why Breeze was chosen to be the subject of the first Bring The Beat Back production.
“While other rappers were busy talking about how fly their sneakers, cars and gold chains were, from his very first record, Breeze was reppin' Philly.” That first record, an EP released in the winter of 1985, featured “It Aint'New York,” “Discombobulatorbubulator” and a ballad, “Another Sad Song,”and was entirely produced by Breeze. He wrote and performed all the music (keyboards, guitar and Dr. Rhythm drum machine) live in a four track studio and did the lead vocals. He even drew the artwork for the label and (later) album cover. Handmaster Flash, a member of his original crew, The Mighty B- Force, did turntable scratches and additional raps. The record was released on Breeze's own label and funded with money he saved delivering pizza for Dominos'.
While “It Ain't New York” was a hit (its title was lifted to promote the first ever “Philly vs. NY” rap battle at the Spectrum in 1986), the song that created controversy and helped vault Breeze to his legendary status was “Discombobulatorbubulator.” A comical rhyme about the day in the life of Breeze, it was banned from local radio play because of its offensive remarks about Chinese food and the people who serve it. The ban effectively kept the song from “blowing up” outside Philly. Undaunted, Breeze would come back with a series of hit 12”, both on his label and several majors that showcased his unique style of singing and rapping with a sense of humor. The pinnacle of his commercial success came after he signed to M.C. Hammer's Bust It imprint and was afforded the chance to write and perform 3 songs on the Rocky V soundtrack including the main theme. The second single, “I Thought U Were The One For Me,” a dance track, was a Platinum seller overseas.
After Hammer's fabled bankruptcy, Breeze had to make a choice. “I could either stay in (the Bay Area) and be broke or come back to Philly and be broke, so I chose here.” After suffering double family tragedies, which took him away from music for some time, his love for music and sharing with others has never been stronger. With money saved, he has built a recording, graphic art and video studio from “a shell” of a building not far from the Belmont Plateau where he used to perform back in the day. He is a co-founder (Along with B-Force's Disco Dave and Phillyhiphop.com's Funk Wizard Snow) of the Greater Philadelphia Hip Hop Alliance; an organization created to support and promote all elements of Hip Hop in the Del Val. Its most recent meetings have had attendance in the hundreds. He has just released a CD called “The Best of Breeze and DJ Trevor,” which compiles all of his hits and rarities and plans to release a collection of all new material called “The Way I See It” in late 2005. A self-taught expert at 3-D computer animation, he has designed his own website (mcbreeze.com) and is directing both the live action and animation for a completely digital horror film called “Hells Furie,” which is now in production.
Still Breeze Entertainment 2006©
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Thanx for making My World a better place.