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Andre Louis Hicks (July 5, 1970 – November 1, 2004), better known by his stage name Mac Dre, was an American rapper and record producer, founder of Thizz Entertainment record label. [1][2] He is credited for playing a major role in developing the Bay Area hip-hop scene, specifically for pioneering the hyphy movement, while releasing dozens of albums and developing local talent during his 15-year music career. [3] On November 1, 2004, Mac Dre was fatally shot and killed by an unknown assailant after a performance in Kansas City, Missouri.

Mac Dre
Mac Dre.jpg
Background information
Birth name Andre Louis Hicks
Also known as Mac Dre, Furly, Silky Slim, Mac Dreezy, Pill Clinton, Al Boo-Boo,Ronald Dregan, Thizzy Marley, Thizzelle Washington, Pio Freshbreeze
Born (1970-07-05)July 5, 1970
Oakland, California, U.S.
Origin Vallejo, California, U.S.
Died November 1, 2004(2004-11-01) (aged 34)
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
Genres Hip hop, Hyphy, West Coast hip hop, Gangsta rap
Occupation(s) Rapper, Record Producer, Screenwriter, Movie Director
Years active 1984–2004
Labels Thizz Entertainment
Website http://www.legendofthebay.com

Contents

Early life and careerEdit

Andre Louis Hicks was born in Oakland, California on July 5, 1970 and moved to Vallejo at a young age, growing up in the Country Club Crest neighborhood, also known as The Crest, and attended Hogan High School. When asked about his childhood, Hicks stated: "Situations came out for the better most of them, I went through the little trials and the shit that I went through."[4] Hicks first adopted the stage name MC Dre in 1984, but altered it to Mac Dre the following year because he considered the name sounded "too East Coast-ish".[5] Hicks recorded his first three EPs as Mac Dre between 1988 and 1992.[1]

Robbery convictionEdit

In 1992, Hicks was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, and was sentenced to 5 years in federal prison after he refused the deal which included informing law enforcement about his partners. At the time of his conviction, Hicks owned the record label Romp Productions.[1] While imprisoned in Lompoc, Hicks obtained his G.E.D., stating that he "had nothing else to do, I had to go back and get mine". While awaiting trial, Hicks would record an album over the phone, and claimed that he taught rapper X-Raided how to record over the phone.[6] Hicks was released from prison in 1997, having served five-years.[1]

According to FBI Agent Michael Repucci, during the trial of Hicks and his two associates, the FBI and Vallejo Police Department’s informant, Cory DeAndre Dunn, was used by the three men to steal getaway cars used in the robberies. The FBI rented a car for Dunn to claim that he had stolen it, and used a “trustee” at the jail to make the car appear as if it had been stolen by altering the steering column. Dunn was then given the car, and was supposed to give it to Hicks and his two associates to use in a robbery in Fresno. According to Detective Becker of VPD, Dunn was “wired for sound,” and that during the drive from Vallejo to a hotel in Fresno, Hicks and his partners discussed the robbery, which was scheduled to take place March 26. According to FBI Agent Lindsay Gentry, who worked the surveillance on March 26, there were three people in the car, Hicks, Diggs, and Curtis, along with the informant. Gentry observed the car enter downtown Fresno where it made numerous circles, first going past the Bank of America, then the First Interstate Bank. According to Gentry, there were numerous vehicles and an airplane involved in the surveillance, which were necessary since the three engaged in counter surveillance techniques that consisted of rapid lane changes and erratic driving including excessive speeding, and slowing down unnecessarily. According to Fresno Police Department Detective Frank Rose, once the suspect felt safe enough, they went to the bank intending to rob it. However, once they arrived at the Bank of America, Diggs observed a news van, just as he was exiting the vehicle to commit the robbery. Diggs, not sure what was taking place, immediately got back into the car and sped off. All three men were arrested shortly there after. While awaiting trial, Hicks spent a year in the Fresno County Jail, where he recorded, via telephone, most of his album Back In Da Hood. Hicks also gave an interview via phone to 106 KMEL, a Bay Area based radio station, to inform people of the circumstances of his arrest. During the interview, Hicks mentioned that Dunn was an FBI informant. KMEL broadcast the entire interview, including the portion labeling Dunn a snitch. The next day the FBI showed up and spoke with the owners of the station, warning them of the consequences if the informant’s name was broadcast again. During his trial, Hicks explained his song, “Punk Police,” which was played during opening statements. According to Hicks, his song was a way for him to express how he was being treated by the VPD, and the criminal justice system. Hicks claimed that he was innocent in the song: “I’m not criminal minded, punk police. I’m a dope rhyme dealer, not a money stealer.” Hicks went on to make fun of the VPD’s efforts, as they were “steady accusing, but these cases you losin,” which Hicks said meant they were constantly filing charges but could prove nothing. Hicks even went so far to call out a specific member of the VPD, “Ima dedicate this to Detective McGraw,” because Hicks felt McGraw was the one pushing for his arrest and the arrest of his partners. Hicks felt the police brought a case against him because they had to accuse someone and because he was a black rap artist.

Post prisonEdit

During his time in prison, "Mac Dre Presents: The Rompalation" was released in 1996. After his release from prison in 1997, he recorded his second album Stupid Doo Doo Dumb. It was released April 28, 1998. Following those albums, Hicks met with Executive Producer Bernard Gourley and recorded the album Rapper Gone Bad with production help from Tone Capone, Lev Berlak, and Warren G.

In 1998, Hicks relocated to Sacramento to distance himself from his home neighborhood in Vallejo. Around this time Hicks founded the Thizz Entertainment label, which is now managed by Hicks' mother, Wanda Salvatto, as Thizz Entertainment LLC.

DeathEdit

Hicks and members of Thizz Entertainment were scheduled to perform in Kansas City on October 31, 2004. Allegedly, there was a payment dispute with the club promoter, leading to Hicks leaving the show and heading back to his hotel room. In the early morning hours of November 1, 2004, on U.S. Route 71, unknown assailants in a stolen black Infiniti G35 began shooting at the white van in which Hicks was a passenger. The driver crashed the van and was able to get to a phone to call 911, but Hicks was pronounced dead at the scene from a bullet wound to the back of the neck from an AK-47 round. No leads to the perpetrator have ever been found, and the case currently remains unsolved.[7]

Hicks was buried at Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland.[8]

DiscographyEdit

Solo albumsEdit

Posthumous solo albumsEdit

Collaboration albumsEdit

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-21. Retrieved 2016-03-12. 
  2. ^ sfbg. "San Francisco Bay Guardian - News". Retrieved 9 March 2015. [dead link]
  3. ^ Van Nguyen, Dean (2014-06-02). "Vallejo rapper Mac Dre pioneered the hyphy movement". WaxPoetics. Wax Poetics, Inc. Retrieved 2018-03-17. But no one touched the Bay area like Vallejo’s Mac Dre. Responsible for recording dozens of records, unearthing new local talent, building a rap empire, and pioneering a whole new homegrown counterculture, Mac Dreezy changed the landscape of the Bay Area forever and earned legendary status among Bay Area locals. 
  4. ^ 530NorCal. "Mac Dre - Ghetto Celebrities Pt. 2". Youtube. Retrieved 2013-04-16. 
  5. ^ 530NorCal2. "Mac Dre - Ghetto Celebrities Pt. 1". youtube. Retrieved 2013-04-16. 
  6. ^ 530NorCal. "Mac Dre - Ghetto Celebrities Pt. 1". 530NorCal. Retrieved 2013-04-16. 
  7. ^ Bulwa, Demian (2011-06-24). "VALLEJO / Rapper Mac Dre slain in Kansas City / This time rumors of his death are true -- he was killed in a freeway shooting". SFGate. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  8. ^ "Andre Mac-Dre Hicks (1970 - 2004) - Find A Grave Memorial". Retrieved 9 March 2015.