Mac Dre's mother decries 'confusing' references to rap label
Posted in the Vallejo Forum
#1 Apr 26, 2012
Slain Vallejo rapper Mac Dre's mother decries 'confusing' references to rap label
It's been eight years since her rapper son Mac Dre was shot to death leaving a Kansas City club, and Wanda Salvatto said Wednesday she is still searching for peace.
The posthumous popularity of Mac Dre -- born Andre Hicks -- has skyrocketed since he was slain Nov. 1, 2004. This has been both a blessing and curse for his mother, who fans affectionately call "Mac Wanda." The Vallejo resident has spent the past eight years trying to legitimize his career and his legacy.
She said she was shocked Wednesday when relatives and friends began calling her saying that newspapers and television were reporting that 25 people associated with Thizz Entertainment arrested last week had been charged with multiple counts of drug trafficking.
Since his death, Salvatto became owner and CEO of Thizz Entertainment, registering her corporation with the state and managing Mac Dre's music catalog, which includes 25 albums and countless cameos on other artists' tracks. The rappers caught up in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency's four-year investigation were part of an offshoot label, Thizz Nation, she said.
"Thizz Entertainment is actually me. There are no artists signed to the label," said Salvatto, who was not charged, or even mentioned, by federal authorities in their investigation.
"I worked very hard to clean up and maintain a legitimate label and business for my son. I don't want to confuse what we do with our fans."
City Hall Records, which has distributed independent recordings since 1973 in San Rafael, is an investor in Thizz Entertainment.
"It's a real business. It's no gangster thing," Walter Zelnick, vice president of purchasing, said of Thizz Entertainment. City Hall also distributes on behalf of Thizz Nation. Zelnick said Thizz Nation is run by Simon Curtis "Kilo Kurt" Nelson, a former partner of Mac Dre, and not by Michael Lott, who federal authorities allege assisted in running the record label along with a large drug distribution network.
A DEA spokeswoman said the agency stands by the sworn court documents it produced that led to U.S. Attorney charges implicating Thizz Entertainment. The documents also detail Mac Dre's criminal history, his efforts to start the label and his death.
"He's not dealing drugs from his grave. They need to let him rest, regardless of what happened when he was a teenager," his mother said.
"Mac Dre's been dead for eight years, but he has a mother left, nieces left, a daughter," she said. "We relive the death all over again."
She acknowledged the term "thizz" is associated with the drug Ecstasy, but that her label has moved beyond that.
"It may have had roots in drugs, but there are no drugs involved anymore. I have nothing to do with drugs," Salvatto said. "When he died he was on the right track. He was living a legitimate life."
The timing of the federal busts was unfortunate as well, Salvatto said, because she had plans for re-releasing portions of her son's catalog and "tons of unpublished stuff."
"At some point, I wanted to do more with the catalog, but I was waiting for the right time," she said. "I wanted to do it around now, but now this happened."
Her son, born in Oakland and raised in Vallejo, still has legions of fans, particularly in the Bay Area.
"Generations of people watched him grow up with his rap music and his life's trials and tribulations," she said. "Young kids can relate to that because they go through that, too."
Sometimes fans were too passionate. In 2006, two years after Mac Dre's death, his 50-pound granite tombstone was stolen from an Oakland cemetery, likely by a rabid fan, the family said.
#2 Apr 26, 2012
I always believed that as a parent we must provide our children with the basic tools so they may build upon a solid foundation and thereby can become productive adults. What they do with the tools/support/guidance we provided them with is ultimately up to them.
As a mother I may understand the continued pain of losing a child; however I have to disagree with the following statement:
"The Vallejo resident has spent the past eight years trying to legitimize his career and his legacy."
How can you try to legitimize the actions of anyone who has contributed to glorification of a lawless/murderous lifestyle such as your son was part of?
If you were involved in your son's life, as I believe you were, what did you contribute to dissuade him from the obvious criminal activities he participated in?
#3 Apr 26, 2012
as long as the money keeps coming in...........
#4 Apr 26, 2012
this is the same theme as gomes, brown, and sappyman approved when they voted to allow the marijuana shops to continue operating, keep taking the money, illegal or not.
yeah, i know, hannigan took money from shotwell for her campaign. i wish she would not have, but it is what it is.
#5 Apr 26, 2012
Wanda, a psychologist will look at your statements and determine that you're suffering from "cognitive dissonance", if you even know what that term means. Apparently, the Romper Room Gang to Thizz Entertainment evolution where your son had a role doesn't seem to bother you at all. See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.
#6 Apr 26, 2012
How dare anyone besmirch the name of an upstanding, bank robbing, druggie, drug dealing, felon like Mac Dre?! What a joke. The fact that she isn't completed mortified, pretty much says all you need to know about her.
#7 Apr 26, 2012
on the cover of "murder dog" magazine, can you believe these people?
#8 Apr 27, 2012
Ha Ha Ha
#9 Apr 27, 2012
Family responds to DEA probe of Vallejo rap label
Friday, April 27, 2012
The family of a slain rapper whose San Francisco Bay area record label has been linked to a nationwide drug bust is speaking out.
The Contra Costa Times ( http://bit.ly/JLv4hw ) reports that Wanda Salvatto, mother of the late rapper Mac Dre, released a statement Thursday saying that Thizz Entertainment is not connected to the federal Ecstasy ring that led to charges against 25 people.
Salvatto says those implicated in the probe, including several Bay Area rap artists, are part of an offshoot called Thizz Nation and have no ties to her son's label.
Federal drug agents this week seized 45,000 Ecstasy pills along with crack cocaine, heroin and $200,000 they calimed tied to the Vallejo-based drug trafficking operation.
A DEA spokeswoman says the agency stands by its account.
Mac Dre was killed after performing in Kansas City, Mo. in 2004.
#10 Apr 27, 2012
Mac Dre was killed after performing in Kansas City, Mo. in 2004.
His Rap was pretty stinky but Man, that's a rough audience..........
#11 Apr 28, 2012
his use of language was meant to incite, and it did
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