Andre L. Adams, aka Andre Nickatina (aka Dre Dog on his first two records), isn’t trying to be metaphorical or ironic in his NSFW anthem “Powda 4 Tha Hoes.” Over a sample of Credence Clearwater Revival’s version of “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” he spits, “Chewy for my niggas, powda for the hoes/ When they panties come down, bitches, anything goes.”
Following in the footsteps of East Oakland hip-hop pioneer Too Short, Nickatina’s prose is fueled by excess: drugs, sex and violence. His lyrics are over-the-top and completely lack empathy, which naturally yields – consciously or subconsciously – satire and social commentary on everything from addiction to the welfare system.
Nickatina’s lucid rhymes, mostly set in the seamier side of San Francisco’s Fillmore District, paint portraits of the streets that are unforgiving and unapologetic. It’s a world where everyone’s hustling, doing what they need to do, acting the way they need to act – not necessarily doing what’s morally right – just to make it to another sunrise.
Nickatina’s been surviving for over two decades of sunrises, having released more than a dozen records. If the 6-foot-4-inch rapper’s verses were autobiographical, he’d be locked up by now. Then again, he wouldn’t sell any records if he wrote about his real life, which includes picking his kids up from daycare.