Born and Bred Oakland

Andre Louis Hicks (Mac Dre)

“Situations came out for the better of most of them, I went through the little trials and the shit that I went through.”

Andre Louis Hicks was born on July 5, 1970 in Oakland, California. He grew up in Vallejo in what is known as the Crest neighborhood. His mother described him, from an early age, as a “rampant individualist.” Hicks began to ask for keyboards, rapping, and writing lyrics as early as seventh or eighth grade. Just as rap music was increasing in popularity Andre Hicks took on the artist name Mac Dre. At the age of 29 he began recording his first albums, all three of which released between 1889 and 1991. These albums included Young Black Brotha, California Livin, and Back N Da Hood. His music quickly became popular as it brought a unique voice into rap. Mac Dre was charged with conspiracy to commit bank robbery due to the detailed lyrics in his song “Romper Room Gang” alluding to a Vallejo robbery gang that targeted local banks and pizza parlors. During his 5 year sentence, Mac Dre recorded songs off his album directly through prison over the telephone, gaining him an immense amount of notoriety. After being released from prison he began to steady release music and further grow in popularity. His music was cataloged at The Grill Studies in Oakland. Mainstream hip-hop stations were beginning to give him more air time. He moved to Sacramento and started a label all his own named “Thizz Entertainment.” Just as his career as a rapper was gaining national notoriety, he was gunned down on the way back to Kansas City, Missouri after a concert on October 31st, 2004. Memorials, murals, and fan art abounded in Oakland, in commemoration of a much beloved idol. Andre Louis Hicks was buried in Mountain View Cemetery shortly after. His tombstone was stolen on August 26th of 2006. AP.9, a rapper and close friend of Hicks, offered a $10,000 reward for any information on its location, but it could not be found. It was later replaced.

Cite this Page:

Yesenia Checa, “Born and Bred Oakland,” Street Stories: Oakland, accessed October 16, 2018,
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