There is vibrant life beyond Red Bull in the energy drink market, and the Bay Area rap music scene in particular has inspired several of these beverages. In fact, two local brands offer cans inspired by the same beloved rapper, the late Mac Dre of Vallejo, whose life was tragically cut short in a drive-by shooting in Kansas City, MO in 2004. Oakland company 100 Racks Inc. (aka Hunid Racks) has "Mac Dre Feel'N Myself," while Fairfield's Hyphydration Beverage Co. offers "Thizz Juice."
The studio of local producer/energy drink enthusiast Meechy of Center of Attention Recordings (aka COA) was a great place to set up a blind taste test in order to get to the bottom of which Mac Dre drink is the best.
•Smell: Thizz Juice, which is bright pink, smells like baby Tylenol to us both, while Mac Dre Feel'N Myself has the whiff of generic diet fruit punch.
•Taste: Meechy expected to enjoy the flavor of the latter more because of the difference in the odors, but is surprised to say that Thizz Juice tasted better because it is less sweet and doesn't have a lingering aftertaste. However, he feels that the extra sweetness of Feel'N Myself would make for the superior mixer with vodka, which is how many prefer to consume their energy drinks at nightclubs and parties.
•Overall: The clear winner of this heat is Thizz Juice, even with the initially off-putting medicine smell. The less-sweet flavor is more pleasant to consume in quantity.
These and other locally made and rap-oriented energy drinks are available by mail-order from Oakland's Rapbay (where I snapped them up), but can individually be found in select corner stores throughout the greater Bay Area. Next week, we'll pit Thizz Juice against two more local rap energy drinks -- Hyphy Juice vs. 2Pac -- to see which delivers the best overall taste in the Bay.