The mother of one of Solano County’s most well-remembered rap music stars — late rapper Mac Dre of Vallejo — said Wednesday that the 25 people arrested on federal drug charges this week on drug charges had nothing to do with her son’s still-thriving music label.
Wanda Salvatto, who took over the Thizz Entertainment label after her son’s untimely death in 2004, said media reports of such an association were incorrect because people named in the federal indictment were connected with Thizz Nation, a related but separate label.
“Mac Dre’s been dead for eight years,” Salvatto told the Vallejo Times-Herald newspaper.
“He’s not dealing drugs from his grave — they need to let him rest, regardless of what happened when he was a teenager.”
Yet Mac Dre was a focal point of the indictment, which alleged that the music company he founded was responsible for a nationwide drug distribution operation, the newspaper said.
Mac Dre, whose real name was Andre Hicks, recorded 25 albums and appeared in numerous other projects.
He was shot and killed outside a Kansas City nightclub after a performance in 2004.
But Salvatto said she was running Thizz Entertainment and working to protect her son’s legacy.
“Thizz Entertainment is actually me,” she told the newspaper.
“There are no artists signed to the label.”
But federal authorities insisted that they had it right when they arrested 25 performers and others connected to the Thizz organizations after a four-year investigation.
Thizz is a drug culture term related to the drug MDMA, commonly known as Ecstasy.
Salvatto acknowledged the drug reference but said her son had cleaned up before this death and said her organization was not involved with drugs.
She was not mentioned in the indictment.
“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,” she said. “He was living a legitimate life.”