Best of Thizz: 1999-2004

Mac Dre

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Best of Thizz: 1999-2004 Review

by Fred Thomas

The late Mac Dre met an untimely death in 2004, but left behind a practically endless vault of druggy hard-beat tracks that constantly toed the line between comedic playfulness and rugged violence. Sex, drugs, and violence are often referred to as cartoonish, but Mac Dre and his Thizz Entertainment counterparts escalated every cartoonish element of their Oakland gangsta rap sound to Funkadelic-esque levels. Never breaking character to betray their over the top rhymes as goofy, Dre and crew partake of some outlandish scenarios on bass wobblers like "Rapper Island" and "Stupid." "My Style" is based around a '70s soft rock sample to great effect, predating the same production tactic Kanye West would drive into the ground several years later. During his short life, Dre would play up the ridiculous components of his songs with smartly comedic videos. A clown prince in gangsta gear, Mac Dre never completely commits to a novelty rap character during his tales of drug peddling, drug experimenting, and project lifestyles, but rather laces his hard-edged beats with understated humor and a moderate dose of nonsense. This uncommonly complex personality is what separates the 26 tracks on this collection from the garden variety ├╝ber-violent gangsta rap of Mac Dre's era.

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