Andre Hicks (July 5, 1970 ? November 1, 2004), better known by his stage name Mac Dre, was one of the originators of hyphy and is generally considered the creator of Thizz music. He worked with well-known artists such as Snoop Dogg, Warren G, Richie Rich, Keak da Sneak, E-40, Daz Dillinger, Baby Bash, B-Legit, San Quinn, Yukmouth, P.S.D, Andre Nickatina, Smoov-E, Mac Mall and Too $hort. He also provided an uncredited hook to the track "Gotta Survive" from Young Lay's Black N' Dangerous album.
His lyrics were largely based on his neighborhood known by those around him as "The Crest", short for Country Club Crest, a particularly rough area on the Northside of Vallejo, California. His music under the record label Young Black Brotha gained popularity throughout the Bay Area in the early 1990s. In the mid to late 1990s, he received national recognition through his independent record labels Romp and Thizz Entertainment. During his music career, he released many hit singles, such as "Too Hard for the Fuckin' Radio," "California Livin," and more recently "Feelin' Myself" and "Get Stupid". His music continues to be released posthumously. He was the creator of many popular dances which were referred to as giggin'.
Early life and career
Mac Dre was born in Oakland, California and grew up in the Country Club Crest neighborhood in Vallejo, California. His first single was "2 Hard 4 the Fuckin' Radio" in 1989. After recording his first three albums between 1989 and 1991, Mac Dre was charged with conspiracy to commit bank robbery. His record label, Romp Productions, and his many references to "Rompa Room" in his songs, coincided with a Vallejo robbery gang of the time calling themselves the "Romper Room Gang" and responsible for the robberies of many area banks and pizza parlors. Hicks was alleged to be a member of the gang which also included Bay Rapper J Diggs and Coolio Da'unda'dogg. Hicks was sentenced to five years in prison in 1992. In prison, he recorded his song "Punk Police" over the telephone as a taunt toward the police. He also recorded another song, "Back N da Hood", from a prison phone.
After his release from prison in 1996, he released Mac Dre Presents the Rompalation. Following those albums, Hicks met with Executive Producer Bernard Gourley and recorded the album "Rapper Gone Bad" with production help from Tone Cappone, Lev Berlak, and Warren G. This started a new beginning for Mac Dre as he began to release albums steadily, building a huge catalog of music recorded at The Grill Studios in Oakland, CA. In 2000, Hicks relocated to Sacramento, California and started the label Thizz Entertainment. He is credited with coining the slang verb thizz and influencing the hyphy movement, fostering the racially tolerant atmosphere due to his inclusiveness of people of all ethnicities on his record label. swift viter thizzes to mac dres memory
On , 2004, leaving Kansas City, Missouri, a car pulled up next to the white diesel van carrying Dre. Though it is not known whether words were exchanged, occupants of the car opened fire. The van swerved off the road and into a ravine where it ran into a ditch and Dre was thrown from the vehicle. Dre's driver could not find him in the dark and ran down the freeway to get help but found Dre dead upon returning. He is believed to have died instantly from a gunshot wound to the neck. In 2005, due to a large amount of suspicion, Kansas City rapper Anthony "Fat Tone" Watkins was murdered in Las Vegas alongside his 22-year-old friend, Jermaine "Cowboy" Akins, allegedly by Bay Area rapper and Dre's good friend Mac Minister, in retaliation for Hicks' death. The body of a prostitute, 21-year-old Lee Danae Laursen, was found in Fairfield, CA in November 2005; Laursen had been in the company of Mac Minister (Andre Dow) and Jason Mathis in Las Vegas when Watkins was murdered. In March 2006, Dow was arrested by FBI officials and both Dow and Mathis were indicted on murder charges in the Watkins murder. Dow was later found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of conspiracy to commit murder. Some in the rap community initially suspected the March 2007 shooting death of Johnny Ca$h (Johnny Castaneda, a/k/a "The Fast Gunna") was related to the Mac Dre killing; however, officials attributed Castaneda's death to unrelated "street violence".
On the weekend of , 2006, Hicks' tombstone was stolen from his final resting place at the Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland, California. AP.9, a rapper who was close to Hicks offered a $10,000 reward out of his own pocket for anyone who had any information on the location of the tombstone. AP.9 stated that he believed the theft had nothing to do with Hicks' murder. The tombstone has since been replaced.
Mac Dre's underground rap career kept him off the radio stations and T.V. screens almost entirely. However, BET's documentary-type show American Gangster aired an episode on January 16, 2009, focusing on Mac Dre and his Romper Room ties. Mac Dre was also featured on MTV's My Block in a memorial Chris Kanaris montage. Mac Dre was also featured on a Thizz Nation DVD Treal TV. Although there was a sequel, it was done after his death. He was also recently featured in the documentaries "Ghost ride the Whip" and "The Gift", alongside other Hyphy Bay Area rappers.
All Mac Dre lyrics
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