“Rest in peace Mac Dre / Imma do it for the Bay” is what Drake rapped on his 2011 hit “The Motto”.
And while some thought Drizzy’s unexpected shout-out to the Bay Area legend was a bit of wave riding and pandering, it now looks as though the Canadian rap star’s admiration is authentic.
In a recent interview with AllHipHop, Wanda Mac, mother of the fallen rap star, tells how a talk with the 6 God she had a few years back led to the recently released documentary on her son’s life titled Legend of the Bay.
“I met with Drake in San Francisco and we sat down and he talked with me about how Mac Dre impacted his life and his career, what he’s doing and the big impact that Mac Dre had when Drake was a young boy,” she said. “So listening to that, it kind of opened up my eyes that maybe I do need to do this. If Andre was alive he would definitely be capitalizing and making as much money as he could.”
After serving five years in prison for conspiracy to commit bank robbery, a bid many believe was unfairly handed to Mac Dre because he wouldn’t snitch on friends, the rapper born Andre Hicks simply wanted to resume the rap career that was interrupted by prison. He started a new label, Thizz Entertainment, and was on the verge of mainstream success when he was killed at the age of 34 in Kansas City during a 2004 drive-by shooting after a show he had there.
Wanda Mac says it took a number of years for her and her family to come to grips with her son’s death. The process was even more difficult for them she says because of his increasing popularity after his death.
“For a while, for I’d say up to about eight years after he passed, his daughter and I kind of like went into seclusion,” she remembers. “As you know, we were really depressed, really hurt and really traumatized by his death and everything. The hard part for us was we didn’t really get a chance to grieve or mourn privately, because once he got killed he became an even bigger public figure.”
It was her sit down with Drake that made Wanda realize just how big and far-reaching her son’s music really was. It was one thing for kids in the neighborhood to sing his praises to her, but here’s a guy from another country looking her in the eye and telling her how her son influenced him. She said the experience made her want to forge ahead with her son’s legacy.
“I finally got to the point where I could look at it from that point of view,” she says. “In the recent years I’ve been more accepting of monetizing the legend, the name and I’ve formed Andre Lewis Enterprise Company. I’ve really owned Thizz Entertainment and that business. For a long time I was not proud of it, but I am now and I think that conversation started with Drake, and with other up-and-coming entertainers like the Jabbawockeez. They told me how they emulate Mac Dre with a Mac Dre skit to start their show.”
Legend of the Bay is available now and features interviews with a number of hip-hop stars, including DJ Quik, E-40, Tech N9ne, Too Short, Warren G, and Wiz Khalifa among others.
For more information on the documentary, please visit www.legendofthebay.com.