Andre "Mac Dre" Hicks always found a way to tell his story. He was one of the first rappers to record songs through a prison phone in the early '90s (much to the dismay of his jailors). His untimely death in 2004 left a wound in the Bay Area hip-hop scene that's never quite healed. This is the complete story of how Mac Dre became one of the most important rap stars on the West Coast, told through the eyes and voices of those who witnessed his meteoric rise from the streets of Vallejo all the way to regional rap stardom. Exclusive interviews with his mother, Mac Wanda, illuminate a rich family history going back to the Deep South at the turn of the 20th century.
We hear from close confidant Kilo Curt, who was among those arrested with Mac Dre for attempted bank robbery and spent time with him in FCI Lompoc afterward. Numerous close collaborators share their memories of the rise of Hyphy music in the Bay Area and help contextualize Mac Dre's role in the subgenre, which would eventually influence artists like Drake and capture the ears of the nation.
The story of Mac Dre is the story of rap in America, from the authorities' attempts to block his success to his tragic, unsolved death in Kansas City. It's an arc that's followed by many of the genre's greatest artists, from Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls to more recent stars Drakeo The Ruler and Pop Smoke. The story of Mac Dre is the story of a rapper who lifted an entire community through artistic determination and refusing to bow to the oppressive forces seeking to silence those around him.