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Why was Mac Phipps arrested? Former No Limit member granted parole after 21 years

A security guard confessed to committing the crime but he was not charged for the same as Phipps continued his prison time
UPDATED JUN 23, 2021
McKinley 'Mac' Phipps Jr has been granted parole after serving 21 years in prison over manslaughter charges (Instagram@macphippsofficial)
McKinley 'Mac' Phipps Jr has been granted parole after serving 21 years in prison over manslaughter charges (Instagram@macphippsofficial)

Rapper Mac Phipps, whose legal name is McKinley “Mac” Phipps Jr, was granted parole after serving 21 years in prison. The Louisiana Board of Pardons and Committee on Parole officially granted the rapper’s parole on Tuesday, June 22. However, the specific date of his release is yet to be revealed.

The parole meeting took place over a video conference where three board members voted in his favor to grant the former No Limit’ member immediate parole, as reported by the publication WDSU. All the board members had voted unanimously in his favor. Phipps was jailed for 30 years in the year 2000. He was 22-year-old at the time of arrest. Speaking of arrests, a lot of rappers were recently in news for the same. Hip-hop artists such as Polo G and Bandman Kevo were recently arrested whereas, a member from DaBaby’s entourage identified as Wisdom Awute was arrested for attempted murder. Atlanta rapper Metro Marrs, who is Migos’ label mate also got detained recently for throwing $10K in the air during his graduation ceremony. Rapper 9locknine was recently arrested on RICO and racketeering charges.
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Who is rapper Mac Phipps?

Phipps began rapping as a child. He released his debut album ‘The Lyrical Midget’ at the age of 13 in 1990 under the moniker of Lil Mac.  He later got signed to Master P's No Limit Records. Phipps proved to be one of their most successful artists at the time. Apart from his solo projects, he also dropped a few records as a member of the supergroup 504 Boyz.

The New Orleans native’s 1998 album ‘Shell Shocked’ is considered his most well-known project till date. The album had peaked at number 11 on the Billboard 200 chart catapulting him to instant fame. Phipps had also contributed to a collaborative project titled ‘Goodfellas’ with the group 504 Boyz in 2000. According to NPR,  Phipps' early work had been self-identified "conscious" rap, introspective and lyric-driven, but after signing with No Limit he adopted an explicitly gangsta persona and rebranded with the nickname The Camouflage Assassin. 


Why was Mac Phipps arrested?

Phipps was a rising star of the No Limit Records when his life turned upside down following an incident at a local club in St Tammany Parish. A fight broke in the club where 19-year-old Barron Victor Jr was shot and killed. Phipps, who was preparing to perform at the venue, was arrested due to the lack of evidence and was sentenced to 30 years of prison for the same. The hip-hop artist was convicted of manslaughter.

WDSU reports that the publication HuffPost got their hands on a leaked confession tape in April 2016 where a security guard confessed to committing the crime but he was not charged for the same as Phipps continued his prison time. A man named Thomas Williams — a member of Phipps' entourage who had been working security at the club that night — visited local police and confessed to the crime.

Arrested because of his music

As per a report on NPR's Louder Than A Riot podcast on Phipps in 2020, the prosecution's case had then leaned heavily on the rapper's Camouflage Assassin persona, citing lyrics from his songs that described violent acts as indicative of his capacity to commit murder. Even in his clemency hearing, Phipps' rapper persona was a point of discussion. Tony Marabella, one of the pardon board members had asked Phipps if he was planning to return to rap once he's released: "That business that you're in has a flair for getting people into trouble or at least getting them put under suspicion. Do you follow what I'm saying?"

In his response, Phipps said: "I think at 43 years old, my approach to that business is pretty different. My capacity is probably more on the musical side of it, rather than just, you know, being out front and entertaining. I think I've gotten a little too old to be the out-front man at this point." He added that he may not go back to music at all, saying he'd like to make use of the HVAC degree he obtained while in prison, as well as help out with his parents' visual art business.

Speaking of Phipps’ parole meeting, the rapper was joined by his wife Angelique Phipps and his parents Shelia and McKinley. Speaking on her husband getting parole after 21 years, she said, “Today marks the end of a long fight for justice. 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.”