Andre Hicks (July 5, 1970 – November 1, 2004), better known by his stage name Mac Dre, was one of the originators of hyphy and is generally considered the creator of Thizz music. He worked with well-known artists such as Keak da Sneak, E-40, Baby Bash, B-Legit, San Quinn, Yukmouth, PSD, Andre Nickatina, Mac Mall, Ray Luv, Suga Free 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.
On November 1, 2004, while leaving Kansas City, Missouri, a car pulled up next to the white van carrying Mac Dre. Occupants of the car opened fire. The white van swerved off the road and ran into a ditch, and the driver ran across the highway to call 911 at a store. Paramedics found Dre dead from a gunshot wound.
In 2005, due to a large amount of suspicion, Kansas City rapper Anthony “Fat-Tone” Watkins was murdered in Las Vegas alongside his 22-year-old friend, Jermaine “Cowboy” Akins, allegedly by Bay Area rapper and Dre’s good friend Mac Minister, in retaliation for Hicks’ death. The body of a prostitute, 21-year-old Lee Danae Laursen, was found in Fairfield, CA in November 2005; Laursen had been in the company of Mac Minister (Andre Dow) and Jason Mathis in Las Vegas when Watkins was murdered.
In March 2006, Dow was arrested by FBI officials and both Dow and Mathis were indicted on murder charges in the Watkins murder. Dow was later found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of conspiracy to commit murder. Some in the rap community initially suspected the March 2007 shooting death of Johnny Ca$h (Johnny Castaneda, a/k/a “The Fast Gunna”) was related to the Mac Dre killing; however, officials attributed Castaneda’s death to unrelated “street violence”.
On the weekend of August 26, 2006, Hicks’ tombstone was stolen from his final resting place at the Mountain View Cemetery in Oakland,California. AP.9, a rapper who was close to Hicks personally offered a $10,000 reward to anyone who had any credible information on the whereabouts of the tombstone. AP.9 stated that he believed the theft had nothing to do with Hicks’ murder. The tombstone has since been replaced.