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From Vallejo, CA (also the home of the Click), gangsta rapper Mac Dre moved to the Romp label in 1996 after two small releases on the Strictly Business label. Mac Dre Presents the Rompalation made the R&B charts near the end of 1996; a sequel followed in 1999. Turf Buccaneers and Mac Dre Is the Name, Rovi
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.http://www.mac-dre.info/biography.php sfbg. "San Francisco Bay Guardian - News". Retrieved 9 March 2015.
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 Country Club Crest, also known as The Crest neighborhood. He attended Hogan High School in Vallejo. He was first known as MC Dre, but realized that the name sounded too East Coast-ish. He then changed his handle to Mac Dre. 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."
Mac Dre recorded his first three albums between 1989 and 1991.530NorCal. "Mac Dre - Ghetto Celebrities Pt. 1". youtube. Retrieved 2013-04-16. Cite error: The named reference Mac_Dre_-_Biography_.28BIO.29 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
In 1992 Mac Dre was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery and was sentenced to 5 years in federal prison after he refused the deal the police had offered him, which was informing law enforcement about his partners. At the time Hicks owned the record label, Romp Productions. Subsequently, Hicks wasn't released from prison until 1997.
Later J-Diggs, a member of the Romper Room crew and accompanying friend of Dre to Fresno, stated Dre had nothing to do with any robberies and was convicted for a refusal to give information to police.
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". While awaiting trial, Hicks would record an album over the phone, taunting law enforcement officials. He also claimed credit for showing Anarae Brown, also known as X-Raided, how to record rhymes over the phone.Cite error: The named reference Mac_Dre_-_Biography_.28BIO.29 was invoked but never defined (see the help page). 530NorCal. "Mac Dre - Ghetto Celebrities Pt. 1". 530NorCal. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
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.
In 2001, Hicks relocated to Sacramento to distance himself from the Crest; he purchased the house located at 3824 Arden Way in Sacramento. After prison, Dre began embracing the party lifestyle in an attempt to make up for time lost behind bars. He began experimenting with ecstasy and mushrooms. Hicks started a new record label, called Thizz Entertainment.
He worked with well-known artists such as J-Diggs, Keak da Sneak, E-40, B-Legit, 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, Husalah, The Jacka 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.530NorCal. "Mac Dre - Ghetto Celebrities Pt. 8". Youtube. Retrieved 2015-04-11. Caples, Garrett (2005-11-16). "Nation of Thizzlam: Mac Dre's Thizz label undergoes a rebirth.". San Francisco Bay Guardian. Retrieved 2006-10-14.
Mac Dre and members of Thizz were scheduled to do a show in Kansas City on October 31st, 2004. Allegedly, there was a payment dispute with the club promoter. Mac Dre left the show after the dispute and went back to his hotel room. In the early morning hours of November 1, 2004, on U.S. Route 71 in Kansas City, Missouri, unknown assailants in a stolen black Infiniti G35 began shooting at the white van in which Hicks was a passenger. 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. There have been no leads as to the perpetrator, and the case currently remains unsolved. Hicks was buried at Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland. In 2006, his tombstone was stolen from the cemetery.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. "Andre Mac-Dre Hicks (1970 - 2004) - Find A Grave Memorial". Retrieved 9 March 2015. "Mac Dre's mother distances her son's label Thizz Entertainment from drug probe". ContraCostaTimes.com. Retrieved 9 March 2015.