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Hot! Federal Drug Case Ensnares The Home Of Hyphy

This year, nearly two dozen people are scheduled to enter a federal courtroom to face charges related to the sale of Ecstasy and other drugs, including heroin, across Northern California and the country.

On its face, the case appears like any other federal drug sting. It was built over four years and began when a man named Michael Lott pulled a silver Mercedes-Benz into the parking lot of the Hiddenbrooke Golf Club in Vallejo, a struggling city about 30 miles from San Francisco, and allegedly tried to sell heroin to an undercover agent.

At the time of his arrest, Lott was the self-proclaimed CEO of Thizz Entertainment, the rap label started by Andre Hicks, the late rapper and mogul widely known as Mac Dre.

The label once promised to put the Bay Area hip-hop scene on the map, bringing with it a tight-knit group of rappers from the Crest, a working-class neighborhood in Vallejo notorious for drugs and gang violence. Hicks’ crew helped popularize the Bay Area brand of party-centric hip-hop music called hyphy, launching rappers to major record stores and MTV.

But Hicks was killed, his violent death left unsolved. And now a decade of law enforcement scrutiny has cemented the fate of the independent label and the Bay Area rappers who once aspired to mainstream success.

For police, the record label’s dramatic decline was predicted by listening to the music. Over two decades, Hicks and his rapping associates virtually taunted law enforcement.

Amid the rising popularity of gangster rap, prosecutors increasingly mined its lyrics for evidence in criminal matters.

Read more about the FEDS interest in Thizz Ent and Mac Dre here

Follow the discussion on this topic in The OG Bay Area Rap Talk Boards

Source: NPR

1 Comment

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