One of the most anticipated documentaries playing in the San Francisco Black Film Festival this year is “Mac Dre: Legend of the Bay,” which is about the short and productive life of the legendary Vallejo Hip Hop pioneer. This documentary covers his young life, the birth of his career, as well as Mac Dre being convicted of conspiracy to rob banks partially because of the lyrics in his song “Punk Police” and the rise of his record company, Thizz, and his unfortunate murder on the streets of Kansas City on the night of Nov. 1, 2004.
Filmmaker Zachary Butler has rare footage given to him by Mac Dre’s mother of Mac Dre’s first performance as well as an interview with the one and only Mac Wanda, the mother of Mac Dre talking about her son.
We are inviting everybody to come out and check out the premiere of “Mac Dre: Legend of the Bay,” which will officially end the San Francisco Black Film Festival, on Sunday, June 14, at 6 p.m. at the Boom Boom Room, 1601 Fillmore St. in San Francisco. Until then, check out filmmaker Zachary Butler, as he talks about the work that he did on this monumental piece of Bay Area Hip Hop history.
M.O.I. JR: When did you start listening to Mac Dre and what did you think of him as an artist?
Zachary Butler: I am definitely part of the second generation of Mac Dre fans, those that discovered him late in his career or shortly after he passed, and I’m hoping this film will help expand the third generation of fans, the ones learning about him today.
My first contact was in college, in 2003. I went to an arts school with a lot of musicians. It was a diverse community and everyone was always looking for new sounds. One day I came in from class and my roommate said, “Hey, check this out. It’s called Hyphy.” I’m kind of an obsessive over music, so I started digging into Mac Dre and all of the artists in the Bay who were making great stuff.
One of the most anticipated documentaries playing in the San Francisco Black Film Festival this year is “Mac Dre: Legend of the Bay,” which is about the short and productive life of the legendary Vallejo Hip Hop pioneer.
M.O.I. JR: How was the “Legend of the Bay” concept conceived? What part did you play specifically?
Zachary Butler: There were plans to make a documentary about Mac Dre for several years, but nothing had really taken shape. In April of 2014 I wrote a three-page treatment titled “Mac Dre: Legend of the Bay” that detailed what I felt about Dre’s impact on Hip Hop and the broader social significance of his life and work.
Andre’s mother, Wanda, wrote back a one-line email: “Zach gets it!” and that email has basically driven me through this entire process. I certainly hope that fans and critics will appreciate the film, but for me the only measure for success is making a mother proud.
M.O.I. JR: What was it like to work with Mac Dre’s mother, Wanda?
Zachary Butler: Wanda is genuinely one of the most incredible people I have ever met, and the film is about her as much as it is about her son. She raised him with an open mind, taught him to be curious, intelligent and caring. She doesn’t shy away from the controversy surrounding Andre’s life, but she wants to make sure he is humanized.
Thanks to Wanda’s support, I had access to dozens of hours of home movies and never-before-seen candid footage, including Andre’s very first public performance, which took place at a high school talent show.
M.O.I. JR: How did you decide what direction you wanted to take the film into with Mac Dre being such a controversial, charismatic, dynamic character?
Zachary Butler: I certainly don’t intend for this film to be the definitive statement on Mac Dre. He’s far too big a person to be captured in this amount of time. Wanda, our other executive producer, Michael Reiser, and myself all agreed that we wanted this to be a celebration of music first and foremost.
There are other outlets that have covered the criminal elements of Mac Dre’s career, from the robberies committed by some of his friends to the drug use associated with his music. We wanted to acknowledge those parts of his life, but also show that he was much more than those things.
M.O.I. JR: Where did you find some Latino college instructors who knew about the history Mac Dre?
Zachary Butler: I was an adjunct English professor before I began working as a filmmaker, and I reached out to some of my contacts in academia for people who worked on Hip Hop scholarship. I tried to make the case that Mac Dre is a truly significant artist whose work transcends race and class, and so I wanted to include voices from some people that audiences might not expect.
M.O.I. JR: How long did it take for you to complete the film?
Zachary Butler: I wrote my first treatment in April of 2014. Although some footage had been shot prior to my involvement, most of the interviews were filmed in the summer of 2014, and then editing took place over the next six months or so, with the occasional stops and starts that come with independent filmmaking.
M.O.I. JR: With the big Thizz case going on where a number of people associated with the label are locked up, do you think that that helps or hurts the promotion of the “Legend of the Bay” documentary?
Zachary Butler: I’m not sure that case has much of an effect as it isn’t part of the story we are telling.
M.O.I. JR: Why didn’t you include the very producer Khayree Shaheed of Young Black Brotha Records and the legendary rapper Mac Mall, both of whom were essential to the development of Mac Dre just as he was essential to their development?
Zachary Butler: I reached out to both of those artists, but was never able to get on-camera interviews. This is certainly something I regret, but we ultimately decided to secure a premiere at the SF Black Film Festival first. As I said before, this film is only the beginning of the conversation about Mac Dre, and both Mac Mall and Khayree have an important part to play in telling his story.
M.O.I. JR: Was it hard for you to get former rival E-40 involved with this documentary?
Zachary Butler: It was no trouble at all! As you say, Mac Dre and E-40 had a rivalry, but they also had tremendous respect for each other. E-40 was eager to participate and had some great things to say about Dre.
M.O.I. JR: What is the ultimate message that you hope people take away from the “Legend of the Bay” documentary?
Zachary Butler: For people who don’t know Mac Dre’s work, I hope they can understand what a powerful influence he has had on music and culture. For the people who are already fans, I hope they get a chance to see the man behind the music they love, and maybe think about his career in a new way.
you can join in on celebrating the memory of rapper Mac Dre in tuylare on july 11th 2015
The Baton Rouge hip-hop community is mourning one of its own.
Young Ready, a rapper and owner of record label Bow Entertainment, was shot dead along with another man in Bogalusa, La., on Tuesday afternoon, police confirmed to Baton Rouge’s WAFB-TV.
Born Shannen Hudson, Young Ready was 31 and his fellow victim, Jare Stevenson, was 28.
Bogalusa Police said that they have no suspects yet and are continuing to investigate. The shooting occurred at around 3:30 p.m. local time on the north side of Bogalusa.
“Ready’s music was the voice of the streets of Louisiana and other areas,” Kaleel Cain, Young Ready’s social network promoter, told reporters. “He will be truly missed.”
Rapper Rick Ross denied bond after kidnapping arrest
Rick Ross (Credit: Fayette County Sheriff’s Office)
Rick Ross was arrested on a misdemeanor marijuana charge in Fayette County on June 10.
Ross purchased the former Fayetteville home of Evander Holyfield last year.
Ross allegedly pistol-whipped someone who was working on the home, prompting the latest arrest.
Rapper Rick Ross and his bodyguard were denied bond by a Fayette County judge following their Wednesday morning arrest on assault and kidnapping charges, officials said.
Fayette County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Allen Stevens said Ross, 39, and bodyguard Nadrian Lateef James, 42, were arrested Wednesday following the investigation into an alleged June 7 assault at Ross’ home,the 235-acre Fayetteville estate formerly owned by boxer Evander Holyfield.
Channel 2 Action News reported that warrants allege Ross and James hit a man with a handgun, knocking out two teeth and causing neck and jaw injuries. What may have led to the alleged attack was unclear, though Channel 2 reported that the alleged victim was believed to be working on Ross’ home.
Rapper Rick Ross denied bond after kidnapping arrest photo
Nadrian Lateef James (Credit: Fayette County Sheriff’s Office)
Ross, whose real name is William Leonard Roberts II, was charged with aggravated assault, aggravated battery and kidnapping. James was charged with aggravated battery and kidnapping.
They were apprehended Wednesday “without incident,” Stevens said. The U.S. Marshals Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force assisted Fayette authorities with the arrest.
Stevens confirmed to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that both men were denied bond Wednesday. Channel 2 reported that they will remain in jail before going in front of a Fayette County Superior Court judge on July 1.
Photos: Celebrity arrests 2015 gallery
Photos: Celebrity arrests 2015
The founder of Maybach Music Group, Ross is perhaps best known for his 2006 single “Hustlin’.” He was raised near Miami but had lived in metro Atlanta for several years before purchasing Holyfield’s former home last year.
Wednesday’s arrest was Ross’ second in Fayette County in two weeks, and at least his fifth run-in with law enforcement.
Fayette County authorities arrested Ross on a misdemeanor marijuana chargeon June 10. He was also arrested on pot charges in Miami in 2008, in Louisiana in 2011 and in North Carolina in 2013.
LEON HILL IS A WANK
LOS ANGELES: Rapper Sean “P Diddy” Combs, who was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon at the University of California Los Angeles, was acting in defense of himself and his son, his representative said on Tuesday (Jun 23).
Combs, 45, was booked into the campus jail of the west Los Angeles college after an incident on Monday involving a kettle bell weight, deemed a deadly weapon, at an athletic facility, campus police said. He was released late on Monday night after posting bail.
“The various accounts of the event and charges that are being reported are wholly inaccurate,” the rapper’s spokeswoman Nathalie Moar said in a statement.
“What we can say now is that any actions taken by Mr. Combs were solely defensive in nature to protect himself and his son. We are confident that once the true facts are revealed, the case will be dismissed.”
Celebrity news website TMZ.com said Bad Boy Records founder Combs, also known as P. Diddy and Puff Daddy, argued with a football team coach, citing unnamed sources.
The rapper’s son, Justin Combs, is on the UCLA college football team on a scholarship.
UCLA’s football coach Jim Mora called the incident “unfortunate” on Monday and said the matter is being reviewed, declining to comment further.
Tonight we mourn the loss of actor, Richard Kiel, 74, who passed away earlier today at Saint Agnes Medical Center in Fresno. Kiel was most well known as the villain, Jaws in two James Bond movies. Please LIKE and SHARE this post to show support for his remarkable career.
MC Supreme, a ’90s rapper best known for his tune “Black in America” was killed this past Saturday, June 13, in a car accident on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, Calif.
Rapper MC Supreme, best known for 1990’s “Black in America,” died in a traffic accident Saturday, the Los Angeles County coroner’s office confirmed to EW. He was 47.
The Associated Press reports that Supreme, whose birth name is Dewayne Coleman, was sitting in a parked car with a woman on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu when a pickup truck slammed into their car. According to the coroner’s office, Coleman was found dead at the scene, and the AP says the truck driver was “arrested on suspicion of DUI.”
Although Coleman is most known for his music career, his sister, Irene, told City News Service that he was also “dedicated to working with young people and steering them from gangs.”