Buddy McLain

Lil Buddy seemed to have been on the verge of hitting the hip-hop big time almost since the day he made his way north to the Twin Cities from Chicago. "My objective is to make history," he was proclaiming over the KMOJ-FM (89.9) airwaves back in the summer of 1997, when his party anthem "What's the Haps?!" was receiving considerable local play. He caught the eye of Prince, and his fledgling career was chronicled monthly in the hip-hop glossy Source under the heading "Diary of a New Jack." His video for "Woo Woo," in which he was shown partying down in a bank, made it into rotation on BET. But as of last December 28, the diminutive rapper (a.k.a. Buddy McLain, a.k.a. Andre Locke) appears headed for heavy rotation at the state prison in Stillwater. On that winter's day, Eagan police chased a stolen blue Audi until the driver crashed into a tree. Inside the vehicle officers found a bag with an air pistol and bound packs of U.S. currency; Lil Buddy was arrested for allegedly heisting almost $40,000 from the Vermillion State Bank in Rosemount. The turn of events stunned many in the local hip-hop community, where Buddy had always been regarded as more good egg than Ol' Dirty Bastard. Buddy attributed his problems to depression and worry over the health of two of his brothers, who both suffered kidney failure earlier that month. Given rap fans' penchant for glorifying the criminal life, prison may be just the right spark to re-ignite Buddy's career.


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