After serving more than two decades in prison for a crime he claims he didn’t commit, former Master P No Limit Records rapper McKinley “Mac” Phipps Jr. has been granted parole and is set to return home on an early release. According to WDSU, Phipps was notified of the news on Tuesday (June 22) while standing before the Louisiana Board of Pardons and Committee on Parole and—at the of this published article— has yet to be given a release date.
Originally arrested and charged with second-degree murder in the death of 19-year-old Barron C Victor, Jr. in 2000, Phipps was ultimately convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2001. Phipps, who was set to perform at the venue where Victor, Jr. was murdered in front of while attempting to break up a fight, has maintained his innocence since his arrest. This claim was corroborated when a security guard confessed to committing the murder himself.
The rapper’s wife, Angelique Phipps, shared her reaction to the news, thanking her husband’s supporters who never gave up hope while fighting for his release. “Today marks the end of a long fight for justice,” Phipps told WDSU. “Today we are looking towards a brighter future for our family. We are grateful to all of those who have never wavered in their support of Mac’s innocence.” The Louisiana Parole Board voted unanimously in Phipps’ favor, whose case was strengthened after he was granted clemency by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards this past April.
Mac became one of the first New Orleans rap artists to release a commercial hip-hop album with his 1990 debut, The Lyrical Midget, which featured production from Mannie Fresh, under the name Lil Mac. Phipps later signed with No Limit under the name Mac, releasing his most successful album, Shell Shocked, in 1998. The album peaked at No. 11 on the Billboard 200. The following year, Mac followed up with World War III, his second and final album under No Limit prior to his 2000 arrest.
Get some of Mac’s style off his Shell Shocked album below.