The film includes never-before-seen concert footage, home movies, exclusive interviews with Mac Dre’s friends, family, and big-name artists such as Wiz Khalifa, Tech N9ne, Warren G, and many more speaking on the Bay legend.
The movie is co-produced by his family and details the rapper’s life as a stylistic innovator and staunch proponent of individuality. Even twelve years after his passing, his iconic sound and exuberant persona continue to have a major influence on local Hip-Hop culture in The Bay.
In light of the hype surrounding the movie’s digital release, AllHipHop spoke with Mac Dre’s Mother about the documentary and her son’s impact on Hip-Hop music.
“For a while up, for I’d say up to about 8 years after he passed, his daughter and I kind of like went into seclusion. 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.” Mac Wanda told AllHipHop.com in an exclusive interview.
Cultural outsiders may not understand the level to which Bay Area rap fans worship Mac Dre, but Toronto rapper Drake himself took the time to talk with Mac Wanda about her son’s influence on his own life a few years back.
“I had been approached by a lot of people to do movies, to do books, to do this and to do that, and interviews and for years I turned it down. I didn’t want to do it – I couldn’t do it. So I stopped everything and I purposefully didn’t want to monetize or capitalize on any of it because I was hurt. But in the last few years – to be honest it may have all started when I got that call from Drake and that was three years ago,” she said.
“I met with Drake in San Francisco 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. 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.”
Over the course of his career Mac Dre became a symbol for unapologetic self-expression as well as regional pride, even after his untimely death in 2004. Mac’s checkered background and rumored role in the famous Bay Area Romper Room Gang garnered Mac a great deal of attention as Mac quickly became an influential force in early West-Coast Hip-Hop.
“I finally got to the point where I could look at it from that point of view. 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”
In 1992 Mac Dre was convicted of conspiracy to commit bank robbery and his lyrics were used against him in court. When he left prison with a new lease on life, Mac founded an independent record company Thizz Entertainment, but was then tragically murdered just when he began to emerge as a superstar.
At the time of his death Mac Dre was just 34; Mac Dre would have been 46 this year.
Look out for more on Mac Dre in Part 2 of our exclusive interview with Mac Dre’s mother, Mac Wanda later this week.