1992, Andre Louis Hicks, known by his peers and the music industry as Mac Dre got embroiled in a series of events that send him down a path that would end with him losing his life.
1992, Andre Louis Hicks, known by his peers and the music industry as Mac Dre got embroiled in a series of events that send him down a path that would end with him losing his life. That year, Mac Dre was on a pursuit to boost his music career, launching the label Romper Room Records. At the same time, law enforcement was particularly interested in solving the string of robberies, said to have targeted pizza shops in the Vallejo area where Mac Dre moved to from Oakland https://youtu.be/4WIyJK-ko2Q (0:23-0:40)
March 26th 1992, Mac Dre was in a vehicle along with his friends Jamal David Diggs aka J Diggs
and Simon Curtis Nelson aka Kilo Curt
According to reports, Mac Dre and his friends were intercepted by officers of the Federal Bureau of Investigation as well as Vallejo police on their way back out of Fresno. The basis for the arrest were on charges of conspiracy to commit robbery.
FBI reports state that Mac Dre’s associates were out casing a Fresno bank with plans of a robbery, but a local news crew had caught wind of the robbery over the police scanner and had prematurely gone to the bank, prompting them to abort mission.
Mac Dre, being innocent of the crime, refused to turn into an informant to be used against his associates, so he was imprisoned along with them. He would be sentenced to 5 years while J Diggs and Kilo Curt received 10 years https://youtu.be/rux4NROlWlM (23:18-24:05)
While it seemed harsh for such a stern punishment for Mac Dre given he wasn’t involved, the incentive behind their motive could have been fueled by Mac Dre’s disrespect towards members of the law in his song “Punk Police” where he went as far as calling officials out by name https://youtu.be/uA1SJQEh03E (1:19-1:30) As you’d imagine, that caused a stir and placed a target on Mac Dre’s back by law enforcement https://youtu.be/rux4NROlWlM (23:01-23:14)
Information would surface with more details on the bust, stating that a 3rd friend was in the vehicle, Cory Dunn. Apparently, Dunn was flipped to an informant by the FBI and wore a wire while in the vehicle, leading the cops right to Mac Dre and his associates
Later on August 24th 2010, Cory Dunn was found murdered with multiple bullet wounds. J Diggs would later reveal, Mac Dre could have walked free from the charge of which he was innocent if he gave the cops the information they wanted against them, but he stayed true to the bond and code they lived by and did his time as opposed to Corey Dunn who he labeled in gang culture, a “rat.” https://youtu.be/h8kGX6INM9Y (10:29-10:45)
4 years later in 1996 Mac Dre is released earlier that his full sentence, mainly assumed to be due to good behavior, and his freedom was invested in turning his focus to solidifying his spot in the music industry. He would launch the label Thizz Entertainment meant to realize his dreams as the hip-hop mogul of the Bay Area, but instead lead to his untimely end https://youtu.be/rux4NROlWlM (32:43-32:57) https://youtu.be/9suHcETHBjU (19:44-20:12) Mac Dre was on a high, taking over the Bay Area and building a buzz in the international scene. His music attracted fans from all races, all walks of life https://youtu.be/M_0YKLVYkLQ (10:48-11:32) He was talented with a future that would place him at the top of the rap hierarchy https://youtu.be/rux4NROlWlM (38:03-38:16) His music and fame was reaching as far as exotic islands like Hawaii https://youtu.be/VkjTdwb2vc0 (2:15-2:49) https://www.youtube.com/shorts/6qlfq7gpjBE
But Mac Dre was still learning how to navigate from the gang and drug influenced life he accustomed to his new fame as an artist. This, would be his undoing in 2004. Reports state that a promoter referred to as Damon Whitmill, saw the opportunity for profit in hosting a concert with Bay Area artists like Mac Dre who were taking over the music scene. With that idea in mind, he booked a number of Bay Area artists like Mac Dre, Keak Da Sneak
And Yukmouth along with a bunch of others for Halloween weekend
Whitmill would later convey information breaking down what transpired between him and Mac Dre on the weekend that he lost his life. Whitmill and Mac Dre allegedly made an agreement to the total sum of $12,500 where Mac Dre would receive $6000 up front along with paid airfare and stay in Kansas City for him and other artists
October 27th 2004, Mac Dre along with other Bay Area Artists arrived Kansas City, where they were allegedly driven around by an acquaintance of Mac Dre by the name of Savino Davila
Once settled in, Mac Dre proceeded to begin to honor contractual obligations in the form of radio appearances and record signing at a local music store
It was from there where things apparently began taking a turn for the worst, setting events in motion resulting in Mac Dre’s murder. Reports state that according to Whitmill, Mac Dre was unprofessional in his dealings, arriving late to his obligations and leaving early, which caused another issue for the weekend shows as the record signing at Byron Robinson’s music store also acted as promotion for the events. The end result was disappointment from the promoter, the store owner and fans of the popular Bay Area rapper, Mac Dre
Friday October 29th, it was the big show and a chance for Whitmill to make big on his efforts, but according to him, yet again Mac Dre arrived late, resulting in him having to rent the venue for extra time to accommodate Mac Dre’s tardiness
However, the night was only about to get worse. According to both Whitmill and his alleged DJ that night, Mac Dre’s entire entourage of 20 plus people rushed the stage, which resulted in fans also following suit. The issue was cause for the music to be cut off numerous times due to security reasons, until finally, the show was shut down
This is where Mac Dre made one fatal error. Keak Da Sneak along with Yukmouth felt a negative presence at the show. According to them, there was tension, and the turnout was horrible so they performed and left without receiving the other end of their payment. They told the promoter to wire them the funds and got out of Kansas City https://youtu.be/xl85-z4z23A (6:20-6:50) https://youtu.be/cwmFxYG8CtQ (2:16-2:32) https://youtu.be/cwmFxYG8CtQ (1:30-2:00)
Whatever the reason, Mac Dre stayed while they left. In an attempt to recoup lost funds on what seemed like a failed event, the promoter allegedly booked Mac Dre to perform at a Halloween party Sunday 31st 2004 to close off the weekend
According to other sources like J Diggs, Mac Dre was scheduled to be there but ended up in an altercation with the promoter https://youtu.be/F9EqoEGhb2E (2:30-3:00) From all appearances, Mac Dre showed up and did his part, but when it was time to leave, the promoter was refusing to pay the remaining sum owed as he wanted Mac Dre to stay longer. However, the promoter tells a different story, stating that Mac Dre again showed up late and instead of trying to live up to his obligations, he allegedly left after 30 minutes without even performing
Davila who spoke with Mac Dre before he arrived at the event, would allegedly later tell detectives that Mac Dre mentioned to him he “didn’t feel safe” due to the nature of how things were organized
At this point, Whitmill, the promoter is left at the event while Mac Dre leaves after the argument in a white van allegedly driven by a man by the name of Piersey. Mac Dre would never make it back to his hotel. Reports state that at around 2:30am, the white van was traveling northbound on Highway 71 just south of 75th street, when a dark sedan pulled along the driver’s side of the van and unloaded upwards of 30 bullets from two separate guns: an automatic rifle and a .45 pistol https://youtu.be/rux4NROlWlM (5:28-50:40)
The sedan violently rammed the driver’s side of the van in between taking shots at it.
The van would lose control and plunge into a ditch, tossing Mac Dre from the vehicle while the driver crawled from the wreckage and ran to the hotel for help
At approximately 3:30am, an hour after the targeted hit occurred, police would arrive at the scene to find a motionless Mac Dre with a fatal bullet wound to the back of his neck.
He was pronounced dead at the scene
The black vehicle used in the homicide would be found later on with shell casings matching those at the scene and holes from inside the door indicated the shooters fired from inside the vehicle rather than hanging outside
Further confirmation it was the vehicle in the crime was found in the white paint along the passenger side of the door where the white van was rammed in the attack
Mac Dre’s passing shook the entire Bay Area. To them, he was a legend gone far too soon. But, the question plaguing everyone’s mind was, who was responsible? Many of those fingers pointed to a Kansas City rapper by the name of Anthony Watkins aka Fat Tone
Rumors began circulating that Fat Tone and Mac Dre had a falling out that weekend before Dre was murdered
The allegations of his involvement were later escalated when another rumor, even more sinister than the last, began circulating. It stated that Fat Tone released a song, dissing Mac Dre and hinting at being responsible for his death. As it turned out, that seemed far from the truth as no one has ever claimed to ever hear the song https://youtu.be/xl85-z4z23A (8:14-8:39) https://youtu.be/cwmFxYG8CtQ (3:16-4:15) https://youtu.be/F9EqoEGhb2E (5:47-6:01)
From friends of Mac Dre, to enemies, they all agreed Fat Tone wasn’t responsible for Mac Dre’s murder, but, it was too late. On May 3rd, 2005 assailants would retaliate for Mac Dre, taking Fat Tone’s life along with another associate by the name of Jermaine Akins aka Cowboy and a possible female witness by the name of Lee Laursen who was later found shot and killed
The suspects Andre Dow aka Mac Minister and associate Jason Atkins aka Corleon
were later apprehended after they were the last persons caught on footage that night leaving the casino with Fat Tone. What’s more, police claim Mac Minister invited Fat Tone out to Vegas with the idea that he had connections with Snoop Dogg and was organizing an introduction, only to have Fat Tone killed
Although he wasn’t charged for her murder, Mac Minister will also be tied to the homicide of Lee Laursen after unearthing she was allegedly engaged to his accomplice and was a possible witness to their crime
Mac Minister and Jason Mathis was found guilty on 2 counts of first murder and conspiracy to commit murder and sentenced to four life sentences without parole in 2008 https://youtu.be/aar93RnJNcs (0:38-1:04)
After serving 16 years behind bars, Mac Minister still proclaims his innocence and is on a new mission to be freed after the testimony of a witness at the time, is now recanting his testimony https://youtu.be/aar93RnJNcs (1:12-1:34)
As time proceeded, the murder of Mac Dre continued to haunt the Bay Area, his family, and friends. A rapper by the name of JT The Bigga Figga
recently went live on his profile allegedly exposing the true betrayal of Mac Dre, stating that it was his own friends J Diggs along with Kilo Curt who set him up to be murdered so they could take ownership of his label https://youtu.be/KzN49fucbp4 (30:44-31:25) https://youtu.be/KzN49fucbp4 (33:00-33:28) J Diggs would respond, shutting down any truth to the allegations https://youtu.be/h8kGX6INM9Y (20:17-20:43) J Diggs also made it known on a interview with VLAD TV, that the ones responsible for Mac Dre’s murder were also killed later on https://youtu.be/F9EqoEGhb2E (5:03-5:28)