Andre Hicks who is better known as "Mac Dre" was born in Oakland, California on July 5th, 1970 but was raised mainly in the Country Club Crest area of Vallejo, California. In his last recorded interview in the "Ghetto Celebrities" series, he reveals that he came from the D-Boy & B-Boy era of the 1980's. During this time, he was going by MC Dre but decided to give his name some Bay Area flavor and so he changed it to Mac Dre when he was 15 years old. Growing up without a father figure and being raised by a single mother would eventually force Andre's mom to kick him out due to his "bad" behavior. While on the streets as a young adolescence, him and his close friends were dubbed the "Romper Room Gang" by the elders in their neighborhood because they were always active and wilding out. The name stuck as to them as they eventually formed a record label together of rappers and producers; Romper Room Records. While on the streets hustling and rapping at a young age, Mac Dre would be introduced to the rap game by his partner and local bay-area artist Michael "The Mac" Robinson, who recognized his talent. Unfortunately, his mentor Michael, would be killed just a few years later at the age of 20.
Mac Dre recorded his first 3 projects between 1989 to 1992 which were: "Young Black Brotha EP", "California Livin EP" and "What's Really Going On EP". As Mac Dre stated in the last interview he did with Ghetto Celebrities, the drug game in his neighborhood would eventually come to a standstill. Although Mac Dre was making decent money at this point in his music career, he was still not in a situation financially where he could fully take care of his crew. Thus, Mac Dre & his crew were caught up for a robbing a bank. Mac Dre was charged with conspiracy of leading and committing a bank robbery and was sentenced to 5 years in Federal Prison. While in prison, Mac Dre placed himself in the World Records Book forever by becoming the first person to ever record a whole rap album live over the phone ("Back N Da Hood EP", 1994).
After being released from Prison, Mac Dre became a workhorse and was fortunate enough to have recorded over 10 solo and compilation albums with staple rap artists and producers from all over California. After moving to Sacramento in 2001, Mac Dre helped pioneer the Hyphy Movement in the bay area by starting a new record label called Thizz Entertainment. It's a movement primarily predicated on high energy, good vibes & uptempo music that made everyone just wild out on the dance floor. This is exactly what Mac Dre's music epitomized and with the help of some great Bay Area artists he was able to cement himself as a one of the trailblazers for Bay Area music. The dope artists he worked with included but were not limited to: Warren G, J-Diggs, Keak Da Sneak, E-40, Mistah F.A.B, Richie Rich, Yukmouth, Messy Marv, Too $hort, The Jacka & Andre Nickatina. To this day, Mac Dre is still recognized from all of the above and more in Hip-Hop as a pivotal catalyst for putting Bay Area music on the map.
Unfortunately for us all, Andre was taken from us too early at the age of 34. Mac Dre was gunned down in Kansas City, Missouri while riding in a van after a show on October 31st, 2004. As with many other rapper murders, his case has still not been solved to this day about 12 years later. Although Mac Dre is no longer with us physically, his soul and energy live through his music throughout the Bay area and beyond.
Feed some energy into your day and check out his staple songs below that you will undoubtedly hear every-time you're at a Hip-Hop show in the Bay Area!
Rest In Power Mac Dre!