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Late in the afternoon, Robinson suggested shutting down, but Mac Dre petitioned for more time. "'I'd really appreciate it if you'd let me sign autographs for the kids,'" Robinson recalls the rapper saying. "He gave out 100 DVDs for free."
The evening concert was held at the National Guard Armory in Kansas City, Kansas. Wayne was the host.
There were a dozen acts on the card, but Mac Dre was the clear headliner. Wayne remembers looking out over the auditorium floor and seeing nothing but people, maybe 1,500 of them.
Before the night was over, a good number of them would clamber up to join Mac Dre onstage. It made the security crew nervous, but not Mac Dre. "He didn't mind," Wayne says. "He didn't mind at all."
Hip-hop concerts have earned a reputation for trouble. Many Kansas City venues won't book them. A concert this big seemed bound to spark trouble, but it didn't.
"There were no fights, no pushing, no anything," Wayne says. "It was crazy ... like, crazy fun."
When closing time came at 1:30 a.m., the audience dispersed peacefully.
"This is KC, and that was Mac Dre from the Bay," Wayne says, as if that mutual love caused the audience members to put aside their differences for a night.
Dre was part of the underground rap scene. He had no big-label contract. He got no airplay on major radio stations. He had no videos in rotation on MTV or BET. But he had Kansas City.
The next night, Mac Dre was riding in a van on Bruce R. Watkins Drive when gunmen in another car shot it up, killing Mac Dre.
Overnight, Dre was lionized as a throwback to the early days of hip-hop. Murder Dog magazine eulogized him as a confidant of Tupac, a legend who went to prison for bank robbery rather than snitch out his boys. And the Murder Dog coverage included plenty of references to KC. Bay Area MC J. Diggs predicted revenge. "The dudes hit a boss and it shouldn't have happened," he said. "It's going to get dealt with one way or another."
Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department Detective Everett Babcock heard a lot of rumors in the days after Mac Dre's death. Tech N9ne did it. Rich the Factor did it. "Every rapper," Babcock says.
Being suspected was not necessarily a bad thing. One aspiring rapper Babcock interviewed in the Wyandotte County Jail gave an alibi for the shooting, then begged Babcock not to tell the world he hadn't done it. The rumor would sell CDs, he explained.
But no name came up more often than Fat Tone's.
Tone's alibi checked out, though. He was home with Spencer, his girlfriend.
"He didn't have nothing to do with that," Spencer says. "He was at home with me that night. They had a party that night, but he didn't go."
Tone's mother says she was talking to him on the phone when he found out about the shooting. She says Tone was playing part of his new CD for her when the other call came in.
The crime could have been solved quickly if a few people had talked, Babcock says. But Babcock had trouble even getting Mac Dre's traveling companions to speak about what happened. None of them would talk to him at the hotel, Babcock says.
So the Tone rumor grew wings.
"Fat Tone actually called here and talked to me and said it wasn't him," says Mac Dre distributor Zelnick. "Dre was my homie. I always showed him a good time," Zelnick says Tone told him.