Happy Birthday, Mac Dre: 5 Songs That Slap Out Your Speakers
Today, July 5 marks the born day for the Vallejo’s own, Mac Dre, who would have been 46 this year. His unbelievable work ethic produced on an otherworldly level that surpassed major label-funded MCs. With 18 solo albums between 1989 and even past his murder in 2004 to 2008, Andre Louis Hicks, also known as Thizzelle Washington, had served as the voice of creativity within the Oakland soil.
A natural comedian on the M-I-C, Dre helped to change the course of Bay Area hip-hop alongside Too $hort, E-40, The Click and Mac Mall. When he was serving time in a federal prison, his love for the game was so thorough that he would record his verses through a phone which pollenated words like “thizz,” “hyphy” and “giggin'” into the hood lexicon. Dre’s mark on his community can be found in the way folks from The Town walk, talk and bang out their music.
The innovator of the “Ghost Ride the Whip” movement, Mac Dre will be celebrated today, as Mistah F.A.B., Kool John, Baby Bash, the aforementioned Mac Mall, J Diggs and other special guests pay tribute to him at the Regency Ballroom (1300 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco). In the decade-plus since his passing, Dre is still relevant now, as airbrushed shirts, bobblehead dolls, pillar candles, graffitied walls all are emblazoned with his Thizzface. We also honor the cultural aspect of Mac Dre’s music by highlighting five songs from his discography that YOU should let slap out your speakers.
Trust us, if you haven’t heard his music before, you’ll want to dive into it after hearing this.
Best Line: “I come wit’ it, rappin’ and rhymin’ / Dancin’, pantomimin’, actin’ like I’m driving’ / Then switch it up, dance like I’m fishin'”
On Ronald Dregan, Mac was at the top of his game while showing that he was transitioning from the mob music that made him a local legend. “Get Stupid” was his way of going dumb, getting hyphy and letting go. He encouraged us all to do the same, too.
Best Line: “I do the pigeon, bird like a nerd / I’m on Hennessey rappin’ every line, every word”
This song appeared on the album Mac completed before his untimely murder in 2004. Another song to lose your mind to, Mac Dre linked up with Mac Mall for Da U.S. Open and gave The Town another slapper to get down to. It also marked the first time that E-40 and Dre were on a record together.
I’m N Motion
Best Line: “Straight, from the C-E-double-L / Nevertheless, funky fresh, boy I’m never stale / Pumpin’ your brain up with game getting’ groovy’en / Doper than a key of that pure Peruvian”
Done while Mac was serving a 5 year federal prison sentence, “I’m N Motion” appeared on Young Black Brotha and showcased the work ethic that would turn Dre into a certified legend. The 1993 version of this effort (the original was only released on cassette in 1989) was hard-hitting with the boom, strangling sub-woofers with its Khayree signature production. A worthy effort that would still get love by today’s standards!
Best Line: “First, I do like this / Put a look on my face like I smelled some piss / Bounce to the beat till it start to hurt”
A natural comedian and an imaginative rhyme-slanger, Mac Dre always had a new character, turn-of-phrase or dance that was representative of his Oakland / Vallejo roots. On his seventh full-length album, Thizzelle Washington, the Mac introduced the “Thizzle Dance” which turned the game upside-down, even hitting the national spotlight in E-40‘s “Tell Me When To Go” video.
Best Line: “Boss on a bitch, matchin’ fit with the tent / Whip candy painted got the front-end lit”
The Nation of Thizzlam was in full swing, despite its leader succumbing to a bullet wound in Kansas City, Missouri. Two-and-a-half years after his (still) unsolved murder, Thizz Entertainment released 16 wit Dre, which was mixed by DJ Backside. “Hubba Rock” was another ill-y cut that had a bang that would crack your windows while making Bun B and Pimp C smile with glee.