|Birth name||Andre Louis Hicks|
July 5, 1970|
Oakland, California, U.S.
|Origin||Vallejo, California, U.S.|
|Died||November 1, 2004
Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
|Genres||Hip hop, West Coast hip hop, Hyphy, G-Funk, Gangsta Rap|
|Occupations||Rapper, record producer, screenwriter|
|Years active||1988–1993; 1997–2004|
|Associated acts||Andre Nickatina, E-40, Keak da Sneak, Husalah, B-Legit, San Quinn, Yukmouth, PSD, Mac Mall, Richie Rich, Smoov-E (aka Eli Meltzer), Too Short|
Andre Louis Hicks (July 5, 1970 – November 1, 2004), better known by his stage name Mac Dre, was an American rapper, and the initial founder of Thizz Entertainment, and the now defunct Romp Productions.
Early Life & Career 
Andre Louis Hicks was born in Oakland, California on July 5, 1970 and moved to Vallejo at a young age. He grew up in Vallejo, in the Crestside neighborhood, for the greater part of his life and attended Peoples High school in Vallejo. He reflects back on his childhood and states, "Situations came out for the better most of them, I went through the little trials and the shit that I went through."  He went through life's trials to further figure out his true calling within the rap game. His father wasn't a prominent figure within his life, he states that, "My father was a thug, like I am." He credits his mother for taking the responsibility in his upbringing and teaching him to never forget his own sense of identity. Hicks wasn't always a rapper and had a rough childhood growing up in the crestside neighborhood and started out "hustlin,"with the selling and distribution of crack just to make ends meet. Hicks began his rap career under the name "MC Dre", then at the age of 15 he would go on to change his name to "Mac Dre."He said that "MC" name was more of east coast ideal, so to connect it to himself he changed it to "Mac," to promote his individualism and his place within the west coast rap game.
Mac Dre recorded his first three albums between 1989 and 1991. In 1992 Mac Dre was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery and was sentenced 5 years in federal prison after he refused the deal the Feds offered him, which was snitching out his partners and wasn't released from prison until 1997. At the time Hicks owned the record label, Romp Productions. His many references to "Romper Room" in his songs, bore a similarity the "Romper Room Gang", a group of robbers who had been victimizing banks and pizza parlors in Vallejo. Following allegations by authorities about his membership in the gang, Hicks was sentenced to five years in prison. He refused a deal offered by law enforcement authorities that would have required him to inform on other gang members.
Hicks was going back and fourth between the Bay Area and Fresno because he was promoting himself and entertaining his fans with shows. He was heading home to the Bay Area from Fresno, and then he was stopped by 35 FBI agents and Law Enforcement for assumed affiliation with a bank robbery that had took place Fresno. Hicks states in a interview that, "They said that earlier that morning we was riding around looking at banks, but I was just at the motel sleep, by myself, no crime was evercommited."Hicks would further state,"No bank was robbed, no bank was entered, no bank was nothing." Hicks labeled his jail sentence as a "conspiracy," because he felt there was no credible evidence presented against with his involvement in bank robberies. He was then arraigned, and incarcerated within Lompoc. In prison, Hicks gained some notoriety by recording the lyrics to songs directly over the Fresno County Jail and Lompoc United States Penitentiary inmate telephone. His album, Young Black Brotha, was a result of such efforts, as well as guest appearances on fellow artists' songs, all while Hicks was still imprisoned. A later album, Back 'N Da Hood, was also made up of these prison-recorded songs. While in Lompoc, Mac Dre would go on to obtain his G.E.D, he stated that, "I had nothing else to do, I had to go back and get mine.".
Post prison 
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 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. In 2000. Mac Dre's audience was growing, and mainstream hip-hop stations were beginning to give Hicks' music more airtime. Hicks relocated to Sacramento, California in 2001, where he began a label, Thizz Entertainment.
He worked with well-known artists such as Keak da Sneak, E-40, B-Legit, Brotha Lynch Hung, Dubee, Mistah F.A.B., Rydah J. Klyde, Richie Rich, Lil Ric San Quinn, Mars, Yukmouth, PSD, Andre Nickatina, Mac Mall, Smoov-E (aka Eli Meltzer), Messy Marv, and Too Short. He also provided an uncredited hook to the track "Gotta Survive" from Young Lay's Black 'N Dangerous album that featured 2Pac.
On November 1, 2004, Hicks was a passenger in a vehicle driving on a freeway in Kansas City, Missouri when a gunman shot at his vehicle. The driver crashed and was able to get to a phone to call 911 but Hicks was pronounced dead at the scene from a bullet wound. He was buried at Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland. In 2006, his tombstone was stolen from the cemetery.
Influence and legacy 
Mac Dre became an iconic figure in the hip hop scene. Mac Dre has also been credited for creating the "hyphy movement" by Bay Area hip hop artists such as E-40, who also paid respect to Mac Dre in the 2006 music video for Tell Me When to Go, and on the intro to the remix of the same song says, "RIP Mac Dre, Dre you supposed to be on this one baby"
Mac Dre collaborated with Vallejo rappers. "I'm a Thug" features PSD and childhood friend Dubee, while "Valley Joe" unites rival turfs Hillside (B-Legit, Lil' Bruce) and Crestside (Mac Dre, PSD). A third track concerning local matters is "Mac Stabber," a simultaneously brilliant and bitter moment on "Rapper Gone Bad," which sees Dre attacking Mac Mall with surprising vengeance, catching another prison flashback: "That nigga left me for dead when I was doin' time in jail / couldn't shoot a nigga naythin' when he was havin' major mail." It's a diss track as venomous as they come. At a time when fans are fed mostly industrialized beef, it's hard to see the personal dimension of this song.Mac Dre and Mac Mall both represented their Country Club Crest neighborhood throughout their careers to realize the viciousness of a line like "Chump, where the fuck you from?"
Mac Dre was an innovator to the rap game in the Bay Area. He offered his own unique sound that would be known as Thizz. Mac Dre will forever be considered a rap legend and was care free personality that went with the flow. He was individual that loved to have a great time and be surrounded by his inner circle. More so, he was an intelligent rapper who had amazing word play within his lyrics. With one-liners like, “My voice is an instrument, it sort of like a trumpet” in his song “Genie of The Lamp,”, this was just the surface of his genius. He would also serve as a teacher to other rappers with lyrics like, "keep it real, dog, and represent what's right / be a real hog when you bless the mic," words he incorporated into his life. Mac Dre understood the rules, right down to how fast they can change: "How can a bullet-proof vest protect my wig? / See, them cutthroat fools done changed the rules / The public got it twisted and we blame the news." Mac Dre was more than a "gangsta rapper," he knew that death dawned upon him. He was visionary who expressed himself freely, whether it be through his lyrics or through his actions in everyday life. He was a "jack of all trades," his strength would be his ability to dismantle rappers in rap battles because he would do research on his opponent and use what he learned to his advantage. Charisma and originality are key to getting people to listen to you rather than someone else, Mac Dre was ordinary rapper. He captivated audiences with his easygoing, conversational tone, humor and wit. With his rap, as people out in the Bay Area would say. It would be easy to label someone as shallow who flat out calls one of his albums "It's Not What You Say... It's How You Say It." However, fans only need to listen to Dre's more notable songs to realize that, like another album title of his suggests, the man possessed was "Heart of a Gangster, Mind of a Hustler, Tongue of a Pimp." He also labeled himself a "cutthroat," a moniker that he embraced. He knew that he that nobody is perfect in this world and states that the world we live in is a "dog eat dog," hence his reference of being a "cutthroat"  Its sad because the Bay Area misses his presence badly and he was seen as "The Messiah," in a sense that would bring Bay Area to power as a prominent place within the rap game. He will forever be missed, and the Bay Area will never be the same. Today his influence is ever more prominent, and his music can still be heard throughout multiple forms of media. Its sad that the rappers life was cut short before his career was able to take off. He always stayed true to who he was and embodied a sense of always staying true to oneself. May Andre Hicks A.K.A Mac Dre Thizz in peace
Main article: Mac Dre discography
Solo albums 
- 1989: Young Black Brotha EP
- 1991: California Livin EP
- 1992: What's Really Going On? EP
- 1992: Back N Da Hood EP
- 1993: Young Black Brotha: The Album
- 1998: Stupid Doo Doo Dumb
- 1999: Rapper Gone Bad (Re-Issued in 2004)
- 2000: Heart of a Gangsta, Mind of a Hustla, Tongue of a Pimp (Re-Issued in 2003)
- 2001: Mac Dre's the Name
- 2001: It's Not What You Say... It's How You Say It
- 2002: Thizzelle Washington
- 2003: Al Boo Boo
- 2004: Ronald Dregan: Dreganomics
- 2004: The Genie of the Lamp
- 2004: The Game Is Thick, Vol. 2
- 2007: Pill Clinton
- 2008: Dre Day: July 5th 1970
Extended Plays 
- 1989: Young Black Brotha
- 1991: California Livin'
- 1992: What's Really Going On
- 1992: Back n da Hood
- 2002: The Best of Mac Dre
- 2004: The Best of Mac Dre II
- 2006: The Best of Mac Dre Vol. 3
- 2008: The Best of Mac Dre Vol. 4
- 2010: The Best of Mac Dre Vol. 5
Collaboration albums 
- 2001: Turf Buccaneers (with Cutthroat Committee)
- 2005: Money iz Motive (with Cutthroat Committee)
- 2005: Da U.S. Open (with Mac Mall)
- 2005: 15 Years Deep (with Da'unda'dogg)
- 2007: DreDiggs: Me & My Cuddie (with J-Diggs)
- 2007: Everybody Ain't Able (with Jay Tee)
- 2008: A Tale of Two Andres (with Andre Nickatina)
- 2009: Maccin' & Doggin' (with Da'unda'dogg)
- 2010: Tha Furly Ghost Vol. 2 (with Dubee)
- 2010: Tha Furly Ghost Vol. 3 (with Husalah)
See also 
- 530NorCal. "Mac Dre - Ghetto Celebrities Pt. 1". youtube. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
- TheLair123. v=2Wn8boVvZ30 "Rare Mac Dre Interview from Jail". Youtube. Retrieved 2013-04-17.
- 530NorCal. "Mac Dre - Ghetto Celebrities Pt. 1". Youtube. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
- Rahman, Ali (2010-30-11) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iTEUydzdk0
- Rahman, Ali (2010-30-11) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFo450kSCqM
- Rahman, Ali (2010-30-11) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGR2tpXsdhc
- Rahman, Ali (2010-30-11) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbH9bPT9U8g
- Rahman, Ali (2010-30-11) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdl-DYQi5fA
- Caples, Garrett (2005-11-16). "Nation of Thizzlam: Mac Dre's Thizz label undergoes a rebirth.". San Francisco Bay Guardian. Retrieved 2006-10-14.
- 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.
- Sir yus. "Mac Dre - Genie Of the Lamp". Youtube. Retrieved 2013-04-17.