|Birth name||Andre Hicks|
|Also known as||MC Dre|
|Born||July 5, 1970
|Origin||Vallejo, California, United States|
|Died||November 1, 2004 (aged 34) Kansas City, Missouri|
|Genres||Hip hop, hyphy|
|Years active||1989 – 1992; 1998 – 2004|
|Associated acts||Andre Nickatina, Thizz Nation|
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 Keak da Sneak, E-40, Baby Bash, B-Legit, San Quinn, Yukmouth, PSD, Andre Nickatina, Mac Mall, Ray Luv 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.
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," "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'.
On November 1, 2004, leaving Kansas City, Missouri, a car pulled up next to the white 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 August 26, 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 TV screens almost entirely. However, BET's documentary 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 T.V.. Although there was a sequel, it was done after his death. He was also recently featured in the documentaries "Ghost Ride the Whip", "The Gift", and "Hyphy", alongside other Hyphy Bay Area rappers.