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BY Abu Mubarik, 2:20pm December 09, 2022,

How Andre Williams of MC Hammer fame dived into entrepreneurship, opening several businesses

Andre Williams. Photo via lakeconews.com/Andre Williams

Andre Williams has made a name for himself in the music industry. He has spent the last three decades touring with rapper and dancer MC Hammer as a vocalist, according to Press Democrat. He has also written and produced songs for musical artists such as Dorothy Moore, The Pointer Sisters and The Whispers.

Beyond music, the East Bay native is an entrepreneur. He owns a bar in Lakeport called Drinx Bar & Grill, which is said to be very popular among locals and visitors. He recently opened another one called Andre’s.

The Drinx bar’s popularity stems from the classic food served as well as live music for a relatively hip and younger crowd every weekend, Press Democrat said. In June, the outlet reported that his new venture Andre’s will “cater to a more sophisticated set”, with live jazz and blues shows.

Williams’ venture into entrepreneurship began in 1995 when he opened a burger joint named Burgers Plus on Highway 20 in Clearlake. This was five years after he started performing with Hammer. Williams later opened a second burger restaurant named Burger Time. The R&B vocalist, songwriter and producer then added a barbecue restaurant and a rhythm and blues radio station to his businesses. He was known as DJ Silk at the radio station, which is still operating.

It was during Williams’ time on the radio that he realized that there was no place in Clearlake for local bands and other friends to come and play live music. This led him to his next venture, which is building a bar and destination for live music called Silk’s.

The bar operated until 2015 when he moved the business to Lakeport and opened Drinx. “I just wanted a place for people to hear good music,” he told Press Democrat. “That’s what it’s all about.” 

In his June interview with Press Democrat, he indicated that he hoped Hammer would visit his next venture, Andre’s Lounge. Williams started his music career as a drummer and lead vocalist at a young age. Per Williams’ website, he joined forces to become the lead vocalist for Hammer in 1991 and continued to perform side by side with the rap legend. His performance credits with Hammer include, The Arsenio Hall show, American Music Awards, Soul Train Music Awards and video, “Bring Our Brother’s Home”.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: December 9, 2022


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