Do you remember? - Page 2

Five years after his murder, Mac Dre is the Bay's rallying cry

You can keep moving forward by being yourself."

For the Jacka — who, as a member of the Mob Figaz, released the group's Best of (2005) on Thizz — Dre's integrity accounts for both his broad appeal and his positive influence. "He wasn't ashamed to be who he was," Jacka recalls. "He was one way with everybody. But he knew how to talk to people of any race and showed us how to be around whites and Mexicans and be like, these dudes are cool too."

"He was like a Martin Luther King," Jacka says. "People might not understand what I mean by that, but if you were in the streets, you understand."

Whether or not Jacka's claim seems excessive, it's striking to see the actions taken in the name of Mac Dre. Among the labyrinthine divisions of Thizz Entertainment — such as Mall's new Thizzlamic imprint — is Thizz Latin, an unprecedented alliance between black and Latino rappers, which, for a seemingly insular hood like Crestside, is most impressive. "I'm proud of what Thizz Latin is doing," Mac Mall says. "In L.A., the blacks and the Latins don't get along. But in the Bay, we together."

Between that and the 2pac-like way in which his death brought a much needed fellow-feeling within the notoriously internecine environment of Bay rap, Dre has had a profound influence over the past five years. "I want the positive about Dre to be remembered," Jacka concludes. "For people to look past the hard part. He created 'going dumb,' but that's not all he wanted to leave behind."

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