Bay Area rapper Mac Minister (née Andre Dow) blazed headlines nationwide when he appeared on an episode of America’s Most Wanted, allegedly for retaliating for the murder of Bay Area hip-hop legend Mac Dre in Kansas City, Missouri. After a 10-month manhunt, Mac was apprehended by the FBI on the evening of March 2, 2006 while hiding out in a San Francisco apartment. Mac Minister is currently in a Las Vegas Correctional Facility awaiting his verdict on charges of double homicide. He maintains his innocence in the murders of Tony “Fat Tone” Watkins and Jermaine “Cowboy” Akins.
Mac Minister’s notoriety in the rap game include the infamous scuffle at the 2000 Source Awards between himself and another Bay Area rapper, E-40, as well as his connections to artists such as DJ Quik and Snoop Dogg. On September 26, he will drop his highly anticipated album Mac Minister of Defense, which features Too $hort, San Quinn, Mannie Fresh, Snoop Dogg and the late Mac Dre himself. With his freedom in question and plenty of grievances to air, Mac Minister discloses his version of the charges against him in optimism of both his verdict and his debut album release.
Mac Minister “Fuck The Law” (2006)
Mac Minister feat. Mac Dre “The Treal Man” (2006)
E-40 feat. Mac Minister “Mack Minister (Interlude)” (1996)
Mac Minister on America’s Most Wanted (click here)
What has been going through your mind before the trial?
I’ve been doing a little mental gymnastics and physical workouts so, you know, I’m kind of focused on freedom. Freedom is on my mind, you know, winning. God blessed me. I feel like God is with me all the way. Every step that is made has been with the blessings of God.
What’s a typical day like for you locked up?
You probably can never endure the emotional mathematics that an innocent man has to go through on a daily basis of being incarcerated. Being in an environment where someone is telling you what to do is like slavery. So I gotta just deal with it, you know? It’s just letting me know that this is not the place for me.
You’ve maintained your innocence. Why do you think you got hemmed up?
The charge is double homicide. I feel like they’re just targeting me because of my relationships in the rap game. And they’re trying to make it look like a bigger war is jumping off, but it’s nothing of the sort. They do this shit all the time, though. They find a Black man they can target. If you live good, they gon’ target him and try to bump up the charges. I’m not really worried about it.
How did you feel when you found out you were on America’s Most Wanted?
When I [first] heard about the shit, because of the fact that I know that I’m innocent, [I thought], They’re doing all this extraordinary shit to expose me to the people. In the rap world, that’s what they want to do. They want to exploit you. But in the criminal justice system, it’s against the law to exploit you. So really, they just rushed the judgment. From the day it happened, the next day, I was on the news, all over the Internet. They just rushed the judgment, that’s all.
Did you have a relationship with Mac Dre? Were you guys homies?
See, that’s another thing they trying to put on me. Me and dude was never really associated, affiliated like that. I knew who he was and whatnot. And if anybody want to recall, I was jumped at the Source Awards by E-40 and them, and they from Vallejo. The shit don’t really connect. They trying to make it connect, but all dots are going to connect in the right [way] for me when I get to court. They just trying to make that shit into something that it wasn’t.
How is your relationship with E-40 now, six years after your altercation at the Source Awards?
You know what? I can never get past that, because I ain’t never been in a business where someone can put their hands and feet on me and feel like we could be cool. We just can’t do it like that. You gotta meet me man to man. After we do that, then we could sit at the table and let bygones be bygones. But [at] this juncture in the game, I’m still pissed off to the highest point of testivity. Nigga, you done jumped on me nationwide. Then we had small talk on the phone, we supposed to have met up. I feel like he probably one of the happiest niggas in the world that I’m incarcerated because we was supposed to put the gloves on.
What’s the most important message you want to convey with the new album?
My most important message is that people need to stop snitching. Stop that shit. That’s a terrible thing to be: a muthafuckin’ informant.
Do you feel like that’s what put you in the position you’re in now?
A snitch will do anything to get by. They come with false information. They pathological, psychological, habitual liars. Then they got these muthafuckas in jail that‘s jailhouse informants [who] you gotta be careful around. People will come stand by you, listen, hear a little something and then rat on you. It’s a dirty game.
I was raised by my grandparents and I had a real strict raising. My grandpa was real thorough and he didn’t play that tattle-telling shit. That’s always been a rule of mine. I tell my lil’ nephews right now: If a nigga knocked you off for snitching, you ain’t gotta never worry about me getting in your business because you done signed an affidavit and took the stand. You done told on the next man. I can’t be a part of that, ’cause that means I’m condoning you snitching.
Now the reason why me and [E-40] can never be straight is because 40 lied to the world. He told the muthafuckas that I came to the Source Awards and snatched his chain. That shit was felonious. That’s a muthafuckin’ lie. That’s a straight-up lie. He never cleared that up. The reason why me and 40 never really got along [was] because 40 reneged on a deal. When I first got on The Hall of Game, 40 said, “How much money you want?” I said, “I don’t want no money, I want you to introduce me to ’Pac and Snoop.” He never did that. He lied to me. He said, “I’ll take you them, man, they’ll fuck with you. Yeah man, they gon’ love the shit you do.”
And then, he got on a song with Too $hort [1996’s “Rappers’ Ball”] and he dissected my game. He took my verse, he talkin’ bout, [“I keep a briefcase full of game, while y'all be ear-hustlin/Ain't no paperback pimp playboy, we ain't struggling”]. That’s when we first fell out. Right then, when he Spongebobbed me like that. He been Spongebobbin’ me like a muthafucka for the game, and he never gave me no credit. Then the nigga was always trying to say shit about my nigga Snoop. Some of Snoop dialogue or whatever. How can you say something about the Doggfather, a nigga that’s a West Coast legend? I went over there and pulled a lot of game on The Dogg, just like The Dogg done pulled a lot of game on me.
So it was like, nigga, you tryin’ to say shit about this muthafucka, [when] you suckin’ up my game and you ain’t givin’ me any credit. Then you lied to the nation. You told the whole country that I snatched your chain. Tell the truth, nigga! They was jealous because I was in the front of the Source Awards and Snoop had the number one album of the year, The Last Meal. And I was on the Eastsidaz album and I was on Doggy’s Angels. And I was on the Bad Azz album Personal Business. And all this with Snoop Dogg production. He was executive of all this shit except the last one with Master P. I’m at the Source Awards with Cash Money, and I’m at the front. And the world is really ’bout to really get exposed to the Bay Area nigga with the game. And a lot of people already knew who I was. He was trying to put a stop to that. That’s what that shit was about.
If you’re found innocent of all the charges, what’s the first step to move on and focus on your music career?
First thing I wanna do is put my gloves on with E-40 so I can put that shit behind me, because that’s in me. That’s just some shit that I just can’t sleep with. I feel all right, then I wake up and that shit be on my mind. And then I wanna network with the Bay with all the relationships that I got. I wanna take some of the artists and start connecting and get this Bay Area thing really poppin’.
Who are you looking forward to connecting with?
Well, I got this young artist named D Lil’. He’s a block runner. He’s from New Orleans. Really young nigga, and his mackin’ is impeccable. His whole rhetorical skills is incredible. I want to bring him to the table. I want bring San Quinn, Messy Marv. I want to take these cats and be their spokesperson.
What do you want your fans to know at this very moment?
I want them to know that I’m solid. I’m stand up. No matter what the outcome, I’ma keep me solid. I feel like I’m God’s gift to the game and I will be out there on those streets. This is just a stage that I got to go through to get where I want to be. And then I’m good. I’m focused. Don’t worry ‘bout me. I’m stress-free. There’s no need to stress, it’s only a test!